The SPD is outraged about the planned US troop withdrawal too little. Now she also wants to talk about the consequences. Group leader Mützenich makes a proposal that is not well received by the coalition partner.
The planned withdrawal of US troops from Germany is now causing trouble within the coalition in Berlin.
In reaction to the announced reduction of 12,000 soldiers, SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich wants to put arms cooperation with the USA to the test and is thus met with lack of understanding and criticism from the Union.
Mützenich rightly criticizes the behavior of US President Donald Trump, said CDU foreign policy Roderich Kiesewetter dpa. “Unfortunately, he did not understand that we owe our freedom to demand the nonsensical and the ridiculous to decades of US security guarantees.”
Also read: Why are there US soldiers in Germany at all?
USA important partner of Germany – still
Germany and the European Union have benefited from the high-tech products of the US defense industry for decades. “So far there is no adequate and affordable substitute in Europe.” The democratic barriers would also set Trump good boundaries. “So there is no reason to give up arms cooperation with the United States.”
The CDU defense expert Henning Otte also rejected Mützenich’s request. The announcement of troop withdrawal is unfortunate. “But the SPD shouldn’t speak to any further alienation within the alliance.” The USA remained Germany’s most important partner outside of Europe.
Mützenich had it Süddeutsche Zeitung Earlier said, Trump has a policy of “arbitrariness and pressure”. This could “not be the basis for a partnership-based cooperation”. “Against this background, armaments cooperation will also have to be assessed in a new light.”
AKK: Bundeswehr should fill US gap
Defense Secretary Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has promised support to the federal states affected by the US troop withdrawal. “Regarding the unfortunate withdrawal plans of the US troops, I will invite the Prime Ministers of the affected countries at the beginning of the session after the summer to discuss how the Bundeswehr can support the affected regions,” said the CDU politician on Friday morning in Berlin .
Kramp-Karrenbauer also emphasized that she wanted to work for Europe to do more to ensure its security. “The truth is that good life in Germany and Europe increasingly depends on how we take care of our own safety. I want us to finally move forward faster with the European security and defense policy and to use the German presidency for this. ”
The Secretary of Defense wants, among other things, to replace part of the aging Tornado fighter jets with 45 F-18 fighter jets from the US manufacturer Boeing. Some of them are to be equipped to drop the US atomic bombs stationed in Germany in an emergency.
Trittin: Trump uses blackmail instead of cooperation
This is the main reason why the project is viewed critically in the SPD. Mützenich had recently spoken out in favor of withdrawing the approximately 20 atomic bombs still stored in Germany – with the support of the party leadership.
That was also noticed by the US allies. Former US ambassador Richard Grenell, who had threatened to withdraw troops last year, said image: “The lack of support for NATO and the increasing attacks on US military programs in Germany, particularly by members of the government coalition, were very problematic and unsettling for American strategists.”
However, Mützenich’s line is not isolated. The Greens foreign politician Jürgen Trittin had already asked the day before to end the arms cooperation with the United States. “Donald Trump has replaced partnership with blackmail,” he told the news portal t-online.de. “As long as Trump is on a collision course, there should be no more arms deals with the United States.”
Also read: Trump is again criticizing Germany
Green Group leader Katrin Göring-Eckardt said of the US plans: “It would be better if the Americans would withdraw their nuclear weapons from Germany and Europe than their soldiers.” The withdrawal of troops is neither in the interests of NATO nor the United States. Trump is massively burdening the transatlantic relationship.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper had released details of the troop withdrawal on Wednesday. The United States wants to withdraw a third of its 36,000 soldiers in Germany. More than half are expected to return to the United States and 5,600 will be relocated within Europe.
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