Angry New Yorker

Saturday, June 05, 2004
U.S. Out of Germany!

Sometimes you just have to laugh at the Europeans' transparent manuevering and hardly "sophisticated" reactions. (But aren't Europeans all more sophisticated than us provincial Americans?) See Roger Cohen, A very French idea, but it hides the truth, International Herald Tribune, June 5, 2004, available at (observing the French notion "France knows better than American what America really is or should be.")

After a year of being a punching bag for the French and Germans, the U.S. has unveiled plans to remove two U.S. army divisions from Germany (along with the HUGE amount of cash those divisions spend on and off base in the local, and already severely ailing, German economy). Yet, while the French and Germans are demanding that the U.S. must set a firm deadline from the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq (less than two years after we invaded Iraq), are none-the-less keening that removing a large fraction, but certainly not all, U.S. forces from Germany - almost sixty years after we defeated and occupied Germany is premature. See Michael R. Gordon, U.S. weighs cutback in forces in Germany, International Herald Tribute, June 4, 2004 (noting "critics are concerned that the moves . . . may weaken the United States' relations with its allies . . . ."), available at

These self same critics are joined by "experts" and "allied officals" who "are concerned that a substantial reduction in the U.S. military presence in Europe would reduce American influence there, reinforce the notion that the Bush administration prefers to act unilaterally and inadvertently lend support to the French contention that Europe must rely on itself for its own security." Id.

Well, what big eyes you have, Grandmother! But let analyze shall we? Reduce American influence? Exactly what significant American influence do we have with France and Germany right now that could conceivably be reduced further? Second, since when is the removal of one's own forces from a foreign country a "unilateral" action? Finally, memo to Jacques: damn straight it's about time Europe relied on itself for its security because this voice from America can report the American people are in no mood to continue securing a continent where the French work 35 hours a week, the Germans retire at 55, and every other Tomas, Dolf, and Hans is a handwringer, appeaser or rabid protester. And most especially not with our hard earned money for which we get a big kick in the ass of thanks from our "allies".

So, to recap, we should get out of Iraq post haste, but stay in Germany when the government is hostile to American policy, the people appear to dislike us in large numbers, and there's no longer a cold war threat? Granted the EU is fond of projects that don't make sense, but even this smacks of pure "we just want your money, don't leave -- yet." But since the plan has not been formally approved by President Bush, yet, it gives him some significant financial leverage to club the Germans with when NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation) convenes June 28-29, 2004, in Instanbul, Turkey. See Projecting stability – the agenda for NATO’s Istanbul Summit, available at; see generally, North Atlantic Treaty, Washington D.C., April 4, 1949, available at; NATO Handbook, 2001, available at, Other background documents and NATO publications are available at NATO Documents & Publications,

The reality is that, despite the good idea of a Rapid Reaction Force, NATO is something of an organization in search of a mission these days, particularly with the head-scratching addition recently of seven countries (Estonia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia) at the Prague Summit on Mar. 29, 2004, to total 26 NATO member countries. See generally,
NATO after Prague, NATO, Jan. 14, 2003, available at, Further, the fact on the ground is that European armed forces are, overall, woefully incapable of keeping up with U.S. forces. See The Fight Against Terrorism: Where's NATO?, World Policy Journal, at 3-4 (Winter 2001/2002) (noting "[w]ith few exceptions, the collective military capability of the other NATO members in any given area is inferior to that of the United States" but noting NATO's "greatest strength is its ability to turn portions of individual members’ armed forces into an integrated fighting force, thus reducing the budgetary and operational stress on individual allies."), available at

So whither NATO? Expect an answer in the next two years.

Rumsfeldian Quote of the Day
[Ed. note -- I've often thought, and noted the same thing, in a previous post.]

"Now, I have often wondered, as we approached Normandy and D-Day, how that might have been reported if we had had 24-hour news, seven days a week, and the folks were being killed as they approached the beach, and the gliders were being spewed across the countryside, many missing their landing targets, and our forces were trapped below Pointe d'Hawke (ph) and not able to get up. I supposed they would have been calling General Eisenhower back for congressional hearings, is probably what would have been the case."

Dept. of Defense, Secretary Rumsfeld Excerpts of Town Hall Meeting, News Transcript, at (last visited June 4, 2004).

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