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Rum$feld to punish German 'treachery'

America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros.
Rum$feld to punish German 'treachery'
Rum$feld to punish German 'treachery'
US to punish German 'treachery'

Peter Beaumont, David Rose and Paul Beaver
Sunday February 16, 2003
The Observer

America is to punish Germany for leading international opposition to a war against Iraq. The US will withdraw all its troops and bases from there and end military and industrial co-operation between the two countries - moves that could cost the Germans billions of euros.

The plan - discussed by Pentagon officials and military chiefs last week on the orders of Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld - is designed 'to harm' the German economy to make an example of the country for what US hawks see as Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's 'treachery'.

The hawks believe that making an example of Germany will force other countries heavily dependent on US trade to think twice about standing up to America in future.

This follows weeks of increasingly angry exchanges between Rumsfeld and Germany, in which at one point he taunted Germany and France for being an irrelevant part of 'old Europe'.

Now Rumsfeld has decided to go further by unilaterally imposing the Pentagon's sanctions on a country already in the throes of economic problems.

'We are doing this for one reason only: to harm the German economy,' one source told The Observer last week.

'Our troops contribute many millions of dollars. Why should we continue to support a country which has treated Nato and the protection we provided for decades with such incredible contempt?'

Another Pentagon source said: 'The aim is to hit German trade and commerce. It is not just about taking out the troops and equipment; it is also about cancelling commercial contracts and defence-related arrangements.'

The Pentagon plan - and the language expressed by officials close to Rumsfeld - has horrified State Department officials, who believe that bullying other countries to follow the US line will further exacerbate anti-Americanism and alienate those European countries that might support a United Nations resolution authorising a war.

German industry earns billions of euros every year from supporting the US Army Europe which, although reduced from its Cold War heights, still totals 42,000 troops and 785 tanks - almost three times as many as the British Army owns. Many of these soldiers and their fighting equipment, including Apache helicopters, have already been sent to the Gulf.

German industry is heavily involved in supporting the US presence. Among the defence companies which stand to lose out are missile-maker Diehl, aerospace and defence giant EADS Deutschland, armaments maker Rheinmetall and vehicle maker Krauss-Maffei Wegmann.

There is also a US Air Force contingent of about 15,000 service people with bases at Bitburg, Frankfurt-am-Main and neighbouring Ramstein, where the commander doubles as part of the Nato command. This force includes nearly 60 F-16 fighter-bombers and a squadron of A-10 tank-buster aircraft.

Rumsfeld and his staff have made no attempt to hide their fury at Schröder's 'treachery and ineptitude' over Iraq. Last week Schröder leaked to reporters a Franco-German plan for avoiding war by increasing the number of UN weapons inspectors before informing his American counterparts.

'After this, Germany is finished as a serious power,' one of the sources added. 'This is simply not the way to conduct diplomacy at a moment of international crisis.' One diplomatic source said Rumsfeld was 'furious at Germany. He is a bruiser and it looks as though he means to do it'.

Under these plans, the US would move its troops in Europe eastwards to countries such as Poland, the Czech Republic and the Baltic states, all of which have strongly supported America's line against Saddam Hussein. It is likely that the overall size of the deployment would be reduced, as the US military changes its priorities for a long-term and disparate engagement with international terrorism.

Although Rumsfeld had already been considering a redeployment of US troops around the world after a war in Iraq to save money and respond to new threats, the plans now under consideration go far beyond what had been discussed.

It is likely that future years will see a sharp increase in the proportion of special forces troops able to deploy rapidly across the globe.

Germany would suffer considerable financial loss if US forces were withdrawn from the country. The bases provide jobs for local people as everything from administrators to cleaners, and are huge customers for dairy products and bread.

homepage: homepage: http://www.observer.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,896573,00.html
address: address: Observer UK

far out 16.Feb.2003 14:59


Pull em all out, everywhere. the entire world needs to learn to economically exist without these freakin militaries.

decentralization 16.Feb.2003 18:35


I agree somewhat with the comment that the world needs to exist without U.S. aid and without U.S. military support. A sustainable economy would be much more difficult for the U.S. to destroy.

Basically, the Germans are faced with the realization that wealth is not money, wealth is a combination of time, energy, and natural resources. Combining natural resources with hard work is how humans survived for thousands of years, not by living off of donations for other nations.

But the whole reason the Bush administration wants to go to war is to steal oil. That is what they do to every country in the world, they steal their resources using military force, and then they offer them the opportunity to work off the loss by offering to have U.S. corporations move in and hire their citizens. No country can survive if there is a more powerful country stealing their natural resources away from them and telling them how to live.

The world has to decentralize away from one centralized military power (U.S.) and one centralized source of wealth (IMF/World Bank). The whole human race must divide off into much smaller autonomous communities. Decentralization is the only way to prevent this kind of aggression and coercion, such as making one country's entire economy contingent on their support for an unjustified war.

Pull them out 16.Feb.2003 18:39


We need to pull our troops out of Germany and South Korea to show the ingreats there exactly what they'll be losing...

Germany will tank, their economy will be ravaged beyond belief. Could this be why they decided to go along with NATO today?

South Korea, the minute none of our troops are there, the North will wage their war on the South and unify them once and for all...

Without us, many countries will tank! We can move our military to better countries, Poland to be exact... They have decided to buy 48 F16's and will become a closer partner with us, it's about time we start giving back to them and make Poland our center of operations for Eastern Europe and NATO.....

pull it out... 17.Feb.2003 00:10


...by the fucking roots!

the u.$. military-industrial-media complex is a cancerous growth of exploitation and destruction on this planet. but the cure is coming...the empowerment of all the world's peoples to break the metaphorical chains that bind us.

we will never forget.

we will prevail.

the time is now!

Puzzling 17.Feb.2003 05:51


The U.S. has preached to Germany since WWII about how dangerous it is to blindly follow a leader into war based on suspect reasoning. We have pointed out to them that that is what allowed Hitler to seize power and plunge Germany into a war that devastated their country's economy, credibility, and image and killed millions of people. Now all of a sudden the U.S. leaders can't understand why the Germans won't blindly follow a leader (Bu$h)into war based on suspect reasoning. DUH!!!

reality 17.Feb.2003 09:39


Yes, I agree that other countries should exist without us. Unfortunately, the methods used in the above article may do just that, in the wrong way. Sure, lets pull our troops out of these countries and let them see how their economy tanks. Germany will not suddenly fall into line to get their economy back in order, they will turn to someone else who will give them some pride and hope back. Does ANY of this sound familiar??? Anyone..... anyone.... starts with W and ends with 2.....anyone... Perhaps there are different means out there to accomplish out goals more appropriately. That whole diplomacy thing.