Guest contribution by Gabor Steingart: Germany has three arguments to let Trump appear
German-American relations have returned to pre-crisis levels – at least verbally. At an event in the White House, US President Donald Trump confirmed the withdrawal of large parts of the US armed forces stationed in Germany.
The USA want to reduce the number of US soldiers in this country to 25,000. There are currently 34,500 US soldiers stationed in Germany, including Ramstein, Kaiserslautern, Spangdahlem, Hohenfels, Stuttgart, Wiesbaden and Garmisch-Partenkirchen.
Trump justified his decision with the indisputable fact that Germany does not achieve NATO’s self-imposed defense spending target: “Germany has been delinquent and owes NATO billions of dollars for years, and they have to pay that.”
Gabor Steingart is one of the best-known journalists in the country. He publishes the “Steingarts Morning Briefing” newsletter. The podcast of the same name is Germany’s leading daily podcast for politics and business. In spring 2020, Steingart and its editorial team will move onto the editorial ship “Pioneer One”. Before founding Media Pioneer, Steingart was, among other things, CEO of the Handelsblatt Media Group.
You can find his free morning briefing here: www.gaborsteingart.com
AKK could bring three arguments against Trump
The Minister of Defense, who recently wanted to become Chancellor, said nothing. In doing so, it would have three good arguments to reject the American claims.
- First: The world has corona. Germany would rather save the retail trade than the US defense industry.
- Secondly: In the “Financial Needs Analysis 2020”, the Bundeswehr calculated that with a steady increase in the military budget to around 1.5 percent of the gross domestic product, all military capabilities promised to NATO could be done.
- Third: With such attacks on allies, Trump wants to distract from failure on the home front. Infection numbers are still increasing in many states, with 22,000 new cases added yesterday. As of this morning, there are 119,132 people in the United States who died from or with Corona.
But be careful: the GIs shouldn’t pack their bags too early. If Germany continues to slide into recession, the federal government will move closer to the two percent target in arms spending on its own. As economic output falls, the military quota increases – without an additional cent being invested.
Philipp Amthor: Bad luck for him that he is not a scientist
The job of a scientist is to get an idea of reality and then to criticize it. Progress arises through the eternal interplay of criticism and self-correction.
The job of a politician is different. There is an urge and also the need to be right. Only those who can assert their view of reality, in the party and also in public, are considered to be leaders. Opinion is condensed into power.
Unfortunately for Philipp Amthor that he is not a scientist. His view of reality – “There is a leading German culture to be described in a fixed canon” – was worth a debate that could have meant progress through criticism and self-correction.
An unsightly act of self-harm puts Amthor checkmate
But as it is, Amthor has temporarily lost the power to assert political ideas. His pronounced business acumen gets in the way of his political discourse. In an unsightly act of self-harm, the young but not naive man sat down with it.
For now, Philipp Amthor will no longer be able to accumulate political power. The deception of his own party friends about the impending disaster of his exposure was not a trivial offense. Attempting to link political mandate and economic interests is punishable as an attempt in the political sense.
Amthor remains a suspended politician
With the simple and impersonal apology – “It was a mistake” – and his withdrawal from the investigative committee for the terrorist attack on Berlin’s Breitscheidplatz, announced on Tuesday evening, his party friends will not let him escape.
The resignation from the presidency of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania is mandatory; a job ban would be too hard. Amthor remains a politician, albeit one on probation.