The decision fell like a chopper on July 29: American President Donald Trump orders the withdrawal of 12.000 men from American forces deployed in Germany, and this within a very limited timeframe. According to the information given, 6400 men will be repatriated to the United States, while 5400 others will be redeployed to Italy and Belgium, and potentially subsequently, to Poland et the Baltic States. In a very personal approach, the American president declared that he wanted to "make Germany pay" which does not participate sufficiently in NATO, and that the United States was tired of being taken for "hams" ("Sucker" in the words of the president).
If this announcement surprises by its tempo, it does not represent a surprise on the substance, since Washington had long threatened Berlin with a withdrawal of American forces if the latter did not increase their Defense investments (diplomatic and public version), and if Germany did not take out the checkbook to order American Defense equipment (confidential version), so as to rebalance the trade balance between the two countries, very much in favor of Germany thanks to its high-end cars very popular across the Atlantic. Japan, in the same situation as Germany both from a military point of view and from an economic point of view, did not hesitate for its part in commanding more than a hundred F35A and B, as well as the modernization of its F15J fleet and its anti-aircraft defenses to its ally. Obviously, the order announced by Berlin for forty Super Hornets and Growlers to replace part of its Tornado fleet, the one dedicated to NATO nuclear strikes, will not have been enough to appease Washington.
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