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2003-10-02 Europe
Germany Reaps Benefit From American Unilateralism
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Posted by Super Hose 2003-10-02 5:37:06 PM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [354 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 Guess they are laughing at us.

Look on the bright side - there's even less justification for German criticism of American military action. I mean, after all, they're reducing the size of their forces, so how are they going to do what's needed on their own or even make a meaningful contribution if they're going to have even less of what little they've got now?
Posted by Bomb-a-rama 2003-10-2 6:05:05 PM||   2003-10-2 6:05:05 PM|| Front Page Top

#2 I don't quite get your headline. The article clearly says that the focus has changed. We don't need to fend off a Soviet attack, so we don't need so many troops trained for these kind of actions.
We were actually forced to reduce our troops significantly in order to get the Allies' ok for reunification.
Germany (let's call it the soon to be Post-Schroeder-Germany) will certainly be and stay a reliable partner for peacekeeping missions and even Schroeder has not ruled out the use of military force as a last resort. More cannot be expected from Germany. Our neighbors would not appreciate a Germany getting too strong militarily.
For the new tasks (fighting terrorism, participating in international missions) the Bundeswehr needs to be modernized and this will require money. Money that will partly come from the funds we save because of the streamlining. The future of the Bundeswehr will be a rather small, well trained high tech force. For 2004 yet spendings can't be increased because of the deficit. Unlike the U.S. we can't just increase our deficit at will, we are bound by the Maastricht regulations.
Posted by True German Ally 2003-10-2 6:15:47 PM||   2003-10-2 6:15:47 PM|| Front Page Top

#3 Hi TGA,

When it comes to deficit spending, Maastricht regulations don't seem much of an impediment to France. Nice to see that Germany takes its obligations seriously.

Regarding Germany's attitudes to the US; I see two distinct attitudes. The first is short-sighted and purely political, dominated by the political elites. The second is the apparent and demonstrated attitude of the German Army and Navy (probably AF as well, just no observations) to the US military; one in which I see professional pride, and a true appreciation of the burden that is willingly shared.
Posted by Whiskey Mike 2003-10-2 6:32:43 PM||   2003-10-2 6:32:43 PM|| Front Page Top

#4 True German Ally,

Point taken. The headline was an expression of frustration at being called upon to be the world's janitor. As you pointed out with regard to the WMD's story from Kuwait, sooner or later a rogue nation will sell WMD to a terrorist organization and it will be America's fault for not preventing the sale.

It is genuinely annoying to be tied together in NATO with countries that are shrinking their militaries while asking for more control over US military action - but that is more of a beef with France than with Germany.

Having my brothers sweat in the desert perpetually so that Sadaam will be nice to Hans Blix is unacceptable.

If the restructuring results in a more cost-effective force for Germany and results in a more deployable force, that is certainly in our mutual interest.
Posted by Super Hose  2003-10-2 6:36:02 PM||   2003-10-2 6:36:02 PM|| Front Page Top

#5 The Germans, as usual, seem schitzophrenic in their attitude to the US. The civs lean towards the anti position buy a small amount (probably due to the Easterners) while the military seems strongly pro in attitude.

It's been years since I was there, and I confess I don't understand them even as well as I used to. Which wasn't well...
Posted by mojo  2003-10-3 12:13:06 AM||   2003-10-3 12:13:06 AM|| Front Page Top

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