Skip to comments.German Angst as U.S. troops bid "Auf Wiedersehen"
Posted on 01/27/2012 10:31:14 AM PST by nuconvert
"We Germans fought for the Russians to go, now we are fighting for the Americans to stay," jokes Brunner, chairman of the German-American contact club in Grafenwoehr, whose lifeblood is its U.S. military base.
News that the 172nd infantry brigade, with its 3,500 soldiers and 8,000 family members, is being pulled from Grafenwoehr to return to the United States has hit this town hard.
After 67 years of living together, locals in Bavaria say the Americans are not just their employers and customers, but also close friends.
Under the new strategy, two combat brigades, one in Grafenwoehr, the other in Baumholder near the French border, will leave Germany, reducing the size of the U.S. army in Europe by almost 10,000 from its present number of 41,000.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Graf - ah, the memories!
Unless there is a strategic interest in keeping the troops there, I think it is a good idea to bring them home.
It is about time. Japan, S. Korea should be on the list of departures also.
We have done our “Fair Share” (whatever that is in a liberals mind) and it is time for our men and women to be home and contributing to our economy.
That is, of course, assuming they can even find jobs in this economy, and I don't believe the BS this Administration says about jobs.
Any news about EDIK?
WHY?... For what possible reason would the USA have a military Base in Germany?..
I mean possible logical reason.. Taiwan is logical, Germany IS NOT..
The USA in Korea is also extremely questionable..
Well hell, this is all so simple. Germany needs to start another war with Russia. This time we will fight with Germany. And for that matter, Japan needs to start another war with China. We will fight with Japan. South Korea needs to invade North Korea. That will last about a week before the Norks fade, and South Korea won’t need any help this time. The only problem South Korea will have is finding room for all the defections from North Korea. Kind of like what the U.S. experienced in Gulf War One when Iraqis were surrendering to drones and reporters.
In this crazy world it would NOT surprise me ONE DOGGED BIT to see U.S. troops being sent back to the Philippines and even based in Viet Nam! 200 Marines have been sent to Australia. They are there to ambush the Chinese if the Chi Coms get too frisky.
Poland, Romania, and the Czech Republic are all practically begging to have US troops stationed there. The U.S. Air Force base in Romania is an absolute favorite place to be stationed for many.
The Germans protested U.S. troops for DECADES, now they want them to stay?
Vilsek is a pretty town, but without US troops, it will rot on the vine.
NATO’s Mission: To keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.
2 of the 3 are no longer operative. Time to shut it down.
All those wars will help the global economy.
So what if the Germans are unhappy. They’re always unhappy. Maybe they will start yet another war.
LOL- Germans unhappy? How true!
All of them got a belly full of Germans and Russians. They have been exposed to a lot of Americans by now, and they know who they like the best. The American Military, no greater friend, no worse enemy.
Making the assumption that you know basic US History, post-WW2 anyway, the established logistical base in Germany provided significant forward support for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This was especially true for the medical support for injured troops. That said, as our efforts in Southwest Asia come to an end, the need for that forward support is significantly reduced.
What has taken us so long? What a waste of money and resources. Any place where we send families has to be ended.
Whilst I agree that we should bring our troops home, I also have very fond memories of the wonderful folks I met when in Germany.
However, we’ve no longer got the riches to defend Europe. They’re going to have to do that on their own....and prepare for the war with Islam.
Romania's per-capita GDP is $11,600 (versus $35,700 for Germany), so they appreciate every US dollar three times as much. Plus, to Romanian girls, a US private's pay makes him upper middle class there.
I spent 13 months in Korea many years back. We had listening posts, nike bases aimed at China, but most importantly 2nd Inf Div was air mobile. If something was to jump off in Asia, 2nd inf could be there yesterday. Do our own Freepers not realize basic fundamentals?
If we plan on not having oil (try not driving today for starters), foreign goods (that's whats on the walmart shelves), and our decent standard of living (USA is Chinese #1 place to immigrate to);;;; we have to keep a strong military around the world.
“For what possible reason would the USA have a military Base in Germany?”
Uh...logistics. How do you think the United States projects power around the world? Supplies don’t magically appear in Afghanistan. Lesser generals think of tactics. The greater think of logistics.
(I am neither)
“The Germans protested U.S. troops for DECADES, now they want them to stay?”
They probably watched what happened to Vieques, Puerto Rico as well as the Philippines, and had second thoughts. In any case, I can’t afford to pay Americans to live in Germany for no good reason, so bring them home.
“WHY?... For what possible reason would the USA have a military Base in Germany?..”
Logistics, FRiend. Where do you think the first troops and aircraft that were deployed to the Iraq wars, the Balkans, Lybia and other conflicts in that part of the world came from? They come from bases in Germany. Takes less than a day to mobilize troops from Germany to other part of Eurpope and the Middle East, compared to 2 - 3 days from the US.
If we are going to continue to play the role of the global police force, we need to be able to deploy troops and equipment quickly. The closer our military is based to potential conflicts, the quicker we can get there. Simple, que no?
That was quite the leap of logic, Eska, since I didn’t advocate bringing troops home but I did point out a reason for a reduced need in Germany specifically. I spent 3 great years there and my son was born there so I have a significant emotional attachment but I also realize that things change.
There are significant and valid concerns for the debate on the size and deployment of the US military. There can be no doubt that national defense is a legitmate function of our government but there is a need to discuss just how much we can afford. Your post correctly notes some of the strategic risks that frame the discussion.
I have a relative, gets sent to Afghan every summer for 2-3 months, in 2013 going to Somalia, already on the schedule no matter who gets elected this fall. I do believe the decisions made by our military are above & beyond the politics we all see on TV; and I trust their perspective way more than any political.
“Japan pays 100 percent of the cost of our bases and personnel in their country. I don’t think we have the same deal with Germany or S. Korea.”
More or less like Japan in the 1950s.
>>WHY?... For what possible reason would the USA have a military Base in Germany?..
Logistics and support for Middle East operations.
No reason for an Army combat brigade to be there.
Japan and South Korea live in a world with an immanent threat that is large and unpredictable. The South Koreans have a higher share of GDP spent on defense than we do, Japan is far more militarized that is officially stated and their restrictions are largely because of “us.” The South Koreans have our back, to include Vietnam, Iraq...
The Germans on the other hand became complete freeloaders after the wall came down (They no longer need us and the perceived threat is gone). They see no threat and simply want to profiteer everywhere they can (Iran today is one of their largest trading partners, they bragged how Saddam's Iraq was a major trading partner) but do as little, as late and from as far away as possible. They cut their defense to a token force and are unable to honor their NATO contractual agreements. They at heart are socialists and have a love affair with the East, even if they would so much as cut their throats. They have become moochers that actually see themselves as smarter and more moral for being such.
Nothing can capture the the spirit of the Germans better than Iraq (2002 - 2008/09) where they rationalized their do-nothing appraoch using schadenfreude and heuschelei. Schroeder essentially rode back into office by making the Iraq conflict an issue in 2002/2003, even though Germany played no appreciable role in Iraq's containment over 12 years, the 1991 war, or the two inner war conflicts. They were not asked to contribute, yet this administration brought this impending conflict into the forefront of every debate and into every living room. Because this issue would have fractured their coalition (SPD/Green), the government decided to go on the anti war path even when war was becoming a realistic possibility. They (The incumbent party) talked themselves into a corner and now found themselves having to work against the US and her allies within NATO (blocking participation - where 7 years earlier they asked for US involvement in the Balkans under similar circumstances), the EU (pushing back on nations that were outspoken for their support or closed ranks with us) and UN (blocking additional mandates), even with Turkey whom they essentially bought off with the promise of support for EU membership (That didn't pan out for the Turks since Schroeder was history after a short time and the Germans/French as well as others aren't very receptive to this idea).
Missile defense in the Schroeder years is another classic example. While Schroeder and Fischer are beating the anti-American drum and calling Bush a saber rattler, unilateral, and accusing him of starting a new arms race with the Russians, they broker a deal where they will support the stationing of Interceptor in Europe as long as Germany is under it's umbrella (they were worried because they were biting us in the ankle), they sign onto MEADS, bought 300 Patriot PAC3 and also join in on the SM3, all systems where missile defense is the cornerstone. That's the new Germany. They will do nothing for our collective security, profiteer anywhere (Iran is one of their major trading partners) and are willing to play political games with issues that put us at risk for their own internal political games.
Why is my arctic light BDE in Germany? Why did they make my arctic light infantry BDE into a Stryker unit? Yuck!
172nd is suppose to wear over whites, have SUSVs (I had 4 in my platoon), issue snow shoes, skis, and ECWS etc. All men need to go through ALIT (Arctic Light Infantry Training) and spend time learning to cross country ski etc. We used the 38cal, not because we're poor, but because the M9 will freeze and jam at those temperatures. LAW, not oil for the M4, and you might as well accept the fact that you ain't shooting your best when it's that cold because as the barrel warms up on the range your shot pattern changes. Once snow falls end of September we begin training outside for cold weather ops and twice a year you have a major exercise in the middle of an arctic winter (It hit -68F (-58C) one year while we were training on Ft Greely), WITHOUT wind chill. Donley Dome is windy. Where are the Sugar Bears with their CH47s that have snow shoes and O2 (for high alt operations)? Where are the Akio’s? Arctic tents? Arctic heaters??? No more arctic I guess. Memories.
Mount McKinley and the big dipper is on that patch for a reason. Last I checked, there was no Jaegerschnitzel on that patch. Goodness, I like Jaegerschnitzel with Spaetzele though.
Is the Thundering Herd, 1-17 still part of 172nd?
B Co, 1st platoon was mine.
Just like the scum in this country living off the productive people, the nations of the world have to stop looking to us for cover. We have done our “Fair Share” when it comes to defending our fake fair weather allies who would turn on us at the drop of a hat or in reality at the drop of a dollar.
If you think for one moment the S. Koreans would ever cover our back if we stopped bribing them you are very mistaken. We are their friends only because of our support and their fear of their own people to the North ruled by midgets with short man’s syndrome.
Every country places their own interests first except for the USA which can site numerous examples throughout history where we have come to the aid of our fair weather friends at our own peril. This of course is the same USA hated by it’s own president and most of the liberals in this country simple because they have not been able to turn us into a communist cesspool. YET!
You are doing the same to them that liberals to us, it's easy to look for ulterior motives and belittle or undermine the intent someone has. Fact is, they do help out may it be participating in places like Iraq, Vietnam, or even by offsetting our costs for being there etc.
Truth is, we can turn this argument 180 degrees on its head easily and view ourselves as unreliable and whimsical allies that run as soon as the public sentiment and political winds change: Somalia, Iraq, Vietnam. Does that make us “fair weather allies?”
If we want to talk ulterior motives, S. Korea and Japan live with a very real threat picture. Unlike the Germans, they see a threat and they can't simply abdicate all responsibility hoping someone else carries the burden. Their economies are closely aligned with ours and there is a co-dependence with them. It is Japan that holds most US debt, not China. They are among our largest trading partners. They are among the largest purchasers of US defense goods (not in trade statistics usually, BTW). They have a strategic interest in being consistent “good friends” over a long time, even if some quote on quote opposition politician seizes power as in S. Korea a few years back talking of his “sunshine” policies towards N. Korea. S. Korea was still a good ally because their @ss is in the wind. I frankly have more confidence in a consistent pragmatic long term approach from them than I do from ourselves. America will wave flags today and demand craters be put in the bad guys back yard (after something happens), tomorrow this same country will spit in a soldiers face and talk about how to cut and run once bubba is told this costs him money. It is us that has the luxury like the Germans to essentially do nothing, to change our minds as we have done many times, leaving our allies, people that worked for us to be massacred. We often intervene, but we sometimes don't and we seldom prove to have any sort of endurance or consistency on matters (as the political winds change). In the Balkans it was the Republicans arguing against intervention and attacking Clinton.
If we assume that N. Korea and China are threats to us as well, how smart is it to throw nations like Japan and S. Korea to their feet? Nations that would otherwise voluntarily be on our side and act not only as political counterweights, but also a buffer and ally if a war were to happen.
Isolationism brought us WWII. Isolationism and pretending the threat away brought us 911. The Ron Paul argument is simply the rhetorical reciprocal argument that has in reality no basis. It simply superficially sounds good, if you don't look any further. It was our departure in Afghanistan (we were meddling there), our lack of human intelligence that we had slashed by 1/3 since the end of the Cold War... that was the true cause. The world will continue on, just like a cancer in your body will, even if you stick your head in the sand and pretend things are all OK.
I had to stop reading at “ It is Japan that holds most US debt, not China.”
Anyone who would lie like that does not deserve any of my time.
For more information:
If you look at the trend you see that Japan has actually caught up already by November 2011 with Japan going up while China has been going down. They have already past China in the meantime since China is trying to rid herself of US treasuries while Japan is rising quickly. Even so, Japan was among the larger holder of US debt for a long time. What’s your source?
Any other topic you’d like to stick your foot in your mouth on?
The Chinese are selling off their treasuries. The Japanese are buying them. Hard concept for you?
Let me make this real simple for you, since the world has changed since 1945.
The Japanese are no longer the bad guys.
The Chinese are no longer the good guys.