General Hodges: The withdrawal of troops is a huge gift to the Kremlin

Deutsche Welle: General Hodges, what is the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany for the security of the United States means? Frederick Benjamin Hod

General Hodges: The withdrawal of troops is a huge gift to the Kremlin

Deutsche Welle: General Hodges, what is the planned withdrawal of U.S. troops from Germany for the security of the United States means?

Frederick Benjamin Hodges: It hurts especially because it damaged the relationship with our most important allies. It is rather the way the Whole thing happened, as the concrete steps. Normally, such a conversion would take years, if it would ever happen. But the relationship is already damaged now. For me, this is the saddest Part.

it Is under a military-strategic point of view it is important to have as many soldiers stationed in Germany?

There are not so many soldiers. 35,000 people, about half of the capacity, the touch is the football stadium where Bayern Munich plays. Most of the people work in the administration, of the air defense, or communication.

So you need no American soldiers in Germany?

The deduction reduces the capacity in Germany to help the USA. The troops are not there to protect Germany, you have to help us. Germany is our most important ally in Europe. Here is our "bridge head", a lot of U.S. operations in Europe, Africa, the Middle East is run. If we can pull it off here are these troops, where there is such good infrastructure, it will be difficult to remain as responsive. For example, if troops are moved to Italy, it will cost millions of dollars alone to build the accommodation.

The Republican leaders, Mitt Romney says all of this is a gift for Russia?

It is a huge gift for the Kremlin. A 30% reduction in our troop strength in Germany, a malfunction and further damage to our relationship with our most important allies - but Russia has done nothing to earn or deserve it. They occupy the Crimea, week in and week out, you kill people in the Ukraine. Russia does not deserve it, that the United States reduce its use of capacity in Europe.

Why does President Trump that?

I can speculate only. I think it is just a political decision, but not strategic.

He justified this decision on the fact that Germany paid the promised two percent of the BPI to Nato.

I think that is his Motivation. Of course, everyone agrees that, Yes, Germany should spend more money for defense. Every President has demanded in the past. The decision, a third of the troops is not justified strategically, but only by his Frustration that Germany is not doing what he wants. And, ironically, should troops be moved to Italy and Belgium, countries that lie far below the Two-percent target. His decisions are not easy at all consistent.

In less than 100 days is chosen here in the USA. What can make Donald Trump yet?

We have heard today that the deduction should begin in a few weeks. I suspect that you will start with small things, so that you can have something to show. However, it will take months until the really relevant things can be deducted.

President Trump has announced that he wants to send the retired U.S. army officer Douglas Macgregor as Ambassador to Berlin. How does that fit into this picture?

He comes from absolutely the same stable as former Ambassador Richard Grenell. Obviously, the White house would choose never to someone who does not have the same policy represents. It is just sad that we choose for our most important ally is someone who is well networked and recognized, such as the Germany Ambassador Emily Haber has made. We should be looking for the most important and best diplomats to protect the connection to our most important allies.

Frederick Benjamin Hodges was by 2017, the commander of U.S. forces in Europe. During his active time of the Three-star General "Ben" Hodges in Korea, in Iraq and Afghanistan has served. Since his retirement from the US army Hodges is working for the US Think Tank the Center for European Studies CEPA.

The questions Ines Pohl, head of the DW turned-Studios in Washington.

author: Ines Pohl (Washington)

*The contribution of "General Hodges: "The withdrawal of troops is a huge gift for the Kremlin is" published" is from Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Updated Date: 29 July 2020, 16:27

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