The suggestion by the American Ambassadors to Poland and Germany that the US might move some of its troops to the former from the latter should be welcomed because it makes the most sense for all the parties involved.
The American Ambassadors to Poland and Germany suggested last week that the US might move some of its troops to the former from the latter in response to Berlin failing to abide by its institutional obligation to spend 2% of its GDP on defense and eschewing its “allied” responsibility to join the Pentagon’s nascent naval coalition in the Persian Gulf. Their policy proposals were met with criticism, though none of the objections are grounded in reality since this move makes the most sense for all the parties involved. The US indirectly subsidized Germany’s “economic miracle” after World War II by providing for its defense needs during the Old Cold War, which in turn enabled the Central European country to emerge as the EU’s uncontested superpower through its rapid economic expansion across the continent, especially after reunification. There’s no need for the US to continue subsidizing its economic rival’s defense needs (whether real, imagined, or exaggerated) under these conditions if Germany refuses to be the vassal state that America expects it to be.
Poland, meanwhile, is more than eager to have as many American troops on its territory as possible and as soon as it can due to its perception (again, whether real, imagined, or exaggerated) that Russia constitutes an existential threat to its security. So enthusiastic is Poland about embracing its role as the US’ possible main partner of choice on the continent that it even offered to pay up to $2 billion to build the necessary infrastructure for hosting this deployment under the project name of “Fort Trump”. It’s not all about Russophobia either since Poland believes that it can reap tangible economic dividends by positioning itself as the US’ replacement to Germany in the New Cold War, especially given that American troops usually spend large sums of money in the countries that they’re based in. Complementarily, Trump — being the multibillionaire businessman that he is — is more inclined to encourage American investments in the leader of the geostrategic “Three Seas Initiative” as a reward for its fealty.
None of this is to argue that the US “should” maintain its military presence in Europe, let alone that Germany also “should” participate in the Pentagon’s nascent naval coalition in the Persian Gulf, but just that it makes the most sense for America to move its troops to Poland from Germany in the event that Berlin continues eschewing its fiscal and “allied” responsibilities to the US. International Relations are currently driven by the Neo-Realist paradigm of thought which teaches that self-interest predominates in determining state behavior. Against this strategic backdrop, Germany doesn’t believe that its interests are best served by immediately spending 2% of its GDP on defense, nor in dispatching its naval assets to the Gulf as part of a multilateral operation. Likewise, Poland believes that its own interests are advanced by doing all that it can to replace Germany as the US’ preferred partner in Europe, which America is willing to assist with since it doesn’t want to contribute subsidizing its main economic rival’s military needs. In other words, it’s a “win-win” outcome for all.
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