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Trump ‘untied the paws of Russian bear’ and changed the European defense

This post was published in RT. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.

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WASHINGTON, (BM) – The withdrawal of American troops from Europe is an erroneous step, writes Bloomberg.

According to the publication, the decision of US President Donald Trump to withdraw from Germany more than 9 thousand military personnel is an element of a depressing model of behavior. This initiative poorly meets the strategic goals of the United States, in addition, it, in fact, will be impossible to implement, the article says.

The news of this proposal provoked anger from the German government, with whom this issue had not previously been discussed. And if we take into account the mutual hostility between Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, then this, apparently, was the meaning of this step.

If this plan is implemented, the American military presence in Germany will decrease: instead of 35 thousand, there will be only 25 thousand military personnel, i.e. more than 2 times less than at the height of the Iraq war.

Against the background of how Washington is folding military missions abroad, the United States has become less dependent on German bases in terms of the transfer of military and supplies.

But, despite this, the leadership of the US armed forces in Africa, for example, is carried out from Stuttgart. Moreover, military facilities in Germany still remain critical for counter-terrorism operations, treating the wounded and containing Russia.

As often happens, the potential benefits of the policies of the current American authorities are nullified by the chaos surrounding the Trump administration. A prudent reduction in the US presence in Germany could strengthen NATO if Washington relocates these forces to another corner of Europe. But any such step should be made in coordination with partners, and not contrary to them.

Supporters of the transfer of forces indicate that other NATO members, such as Poland and the Baltic countries, are more vulnerable to Russian aggression. For the United States, it makes sense to strengthen support for the “front-line countries,” but the rapid deployment of a large number of troops creates significant problems, for example, the costs of maintaining bases and providing housing for military personnel and their families. Moreover, in the case of Poland, the transfer of troops to its territory would be a real gift for the Polish government, which is in conflict with the European Union over democratic norms and the rule of law.

According to Bloomberg, decisions on how to allocate personnel and resources to counter emerging threats should be made as part of NATO’s strategic planning process, and not on the basis of a “presidential whim.”

Republicans in the US Congress rightly warn the administration against unauthorized restrictions on the number of troops in Europe.

“The United States, at a minimum, must commit itself to consult with the Allies before making any significant reductions,” the article emphasizes.

Over the past three and a half years, according to the publication, Trump’s neglect of NATO allies has encouraged opponents of the West and undermined the security of the United States and Europe.

“The reckless withdrawal of American forces promises to weaken the alliance even more. Leaders on both sides of the Atlantic must persuade the White House to change course before it is too late,” concludes Bloomberg.

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