View Full Version : Closing US Bases in Germany
Tue, 18th Feb '03, 9:30pm
“In the not-too-distant future, many of the former Soviet satellite states will welcome U.S. military bases on their soil, and at the same time the U.S. military will begin to withdraw a large number of the over 70,000 soldiers now deployed in Germany. I pray for this.”
That's a quote from a recent radio interview. From what I've heard, keeping our troops in Germany has been expensive and, with the end of the Cold War, unproductive. We'll probably be moving them soon. While Germany's recent attitude to the US has little to do with the decision, it does help speed the voted up a cycle or two!
Any opinions on this?
I'm wondering if the bases in Frace will close soon also. It will definitely help US troop moral to go out into town without having to deal with protestors. Imagine people being grateful for the US dollars coming into their local economy. All the jobs that will go to those new countries.
Here in the US, when bases close, whole towns loose jobs and have to fight to rebuild their economy ... I wonder if there will be a similar effect in Germany?
Just a few random questions!
Tue, 18th Feb '03, 10:08pm
I read an article last week that the withdrawal of US troops in Germany and sending them to the new NATO countries is to be a punishment for Germany for not cooperating in the Iraq issue and a pay off for the new NATO countries for cooperating.
While the US is fully within their right to do this it does annoy me alittle that they view their NATO allies as subservient to be punished when not agreeing and rewarded when being good boys. As you said about the effects on town with miliatary bases so is the ill effects more or less what the US is after according to the source in the pentagon that had been interviewed in the article I read.
There are other occasions of the US trying to punish their 'allies' that doesnt do as told. Several senators and governors are lobbying for boycotts of german and french merchandise. Look at Shralps blog for more info on this. http://www.jamiedmcdonald.com/blogger.html
It almost seems like the US have no allies, only servants or enemies...
But at the same time I cant see any reason for US troops being stationed in Germany any longer either. Even if closing the bases do means an economical backlash.
[ February 18, 2003, 22:24: Message edited by: joacqin ]
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 2:27am
good, i bet germany will feel alot better without 70000 foreign soldiers within their lands, all they do is threaten soverenty... and even though the US may think they are punishing germany by closing their bases there are already plans by the EC to use these bases to stage the EU rapid reaction force from.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 5:40pm
Yeah, the Europeans want all the benefits of having the U.S. around without any obligations. Apparently in order for us to avoid being called paternalistic we have to just give them all lots of money, military protection, etc. and then just never mention it when they start to work actively against us.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 6:32pm
where the hell did you dream that up shralp?
what benefits do we have from having americans around? none
america doesnt give us any money, infact they are currently taxing our trade for everything they can get, and we do not get nor need millitary protection from the US, the EU rapid raction force itself nearly rivals the US millitary, without the domestic millitaries of each EC member
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 7:21pm
Shoshino ... I'm not a moderator, but check out the FAQ's. Loose the foul language, and learn how to hit the shift key so you can capitalize your sentances. Right now your posts read like the children's poems written by a cockroach.
But then again, you do illustrate Sharlp's point. ;)
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 7:36pm
where did i use foul language?
and with regards to language im not going to write an english essay everytime i want to say something. and another thing, your an american your hardly in any place to dictate to me the correct use of the english language
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 7:45pm
Maybe Hell isn't a dirty word in the UK ... but it sure is here. Different value systems I guess.
The FAQ's are pretty clear about using proper capitalization. I'll leave the issue alone for awhile and let God or Tal clarify the matter.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 7:46pm
It should be 'you're' when you wish to indicate 'you are' not 'your.' Sorry, I couldn't resist given the snide remark about Americans and correct usage of the language.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 7:56pm
The Archmage Neon
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 8:00pm
Shoshino, don't try to insult the way americans use the english language, because we don't! American English is what our language has been named. It is a combined language of quite a few different ones. Take for instance "husband", it is an arabic word, the British use Groom or Bridegroom instead. So in fact our language is better, it consists of the best of quite a few, English is just the basis for it. Besides, look at your grammar, regardless of what language, you obviously missed 5th grade :lol: .
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 9:10pm
Hey, the Americans give out more $ in foreign aid than any other country. Shralp's right there. They maintain those bases (which are expensive, I might add) because the governments of those countries want them to do so -- the Americans are not occupying Germany, France, Japan, or any other country that has a base. If they want to pull their troopos out, they have every legal and moral right to do so. If their allies are not treating them the way they want to be treated, they should use whatever legal tools they have to show those allies how they feel. I'm tired of people bashing America just because they're big. So what? That means they are supposed to not flex their muscles just because it might hurt some egos? Give me a break. The British Empire, at its height, never failed to use that size to its advantage, and I don't fault them for that any more than I fault the Americans now.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 9:34pm
As I have said before but apparently need to say again and again. The US gives the least amount of foreign aid of all the properly developed countries in the world counted in percentage of GNP, which is the only correct way of calculating. BTA has supplied a link that should be somewhere in this forum.
There is also a difference between being allies and partners and bein subservient, the US seems to want Europe to be subservient.
If Iraq in some way manages to launch an invasion of the US I can guarantee you people that the US will have plenty of backup.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 10:19pm
Actually, that is a pretty lousy way of calculating it. I'm just now concluding a research paper on the topic for my Statistics class here at UC Berkeley, and I must say the figures you're using to judge the U.S. are hardly a proper measure.
To dumb it down quite a bit, the amount (raw $) of free funds that could PLAUSIBLY be put into foreign aid is more of a linear model with respect to the economy, while % of GNP is an exponentially decreasing model.
In other words, the higher the GNP the exponentially more of a percentage of that GNP has to be reinvested in order to maintain growth, while the amount of freed up moneys to give to things like foreign and domestic aid grows at a slightly depressed linear [still increasing] rate in respect to the GNP.
So the fact that the country with the largest GNP doesn't give the highest percentage of its GNP in foreign aid isn't ALL that surprising, and in fact, the difference between the extrapolation of how much the U.S. should give and how much it already does is not statistically significant.
I'm a statistics/math major, and its gross misinterpretations of data like this that make me cringe.
In regards to the topic: I believe, correct me if i'm wrong, that Shralp is referring to the money and aid that was given to Europe at the time when these bases were established. Ever heard of the Marshall Plan, Pount Four Program, Food for Peace? Not to mention military aid in restabilizing countries? Whatever you want to believe about who foot the bill for European recovery, SOME of it was done by the United States, and we aren't even in Europe. Charity? Spit it back in our face, then.
Wed, 19th Feb '03, 11:40pm
The marshall plan was almost 50 years ago and was vital for the rebuilding of Europe, heck everyone got a piece of it, even Sweden that had been neutral in the war. The Soviets and their satelites refused though. But I just cant see how not agreeing on attacking a country for shaky reasons can be said to spit in someones eye, and even if it you cant expect people to grovel on their knees in gratitude for all eternity. Not to mention that the Marshall plan wasnt all together altruistic, for the US to have someone to sell their wares to they needed a whole and functional Europe, it was more of an investment than a help. But that doesnt take away the huge part it had in rebuilding Europe.
I dont have the numbers here but I think the US gives less than 1% of GNP in foreign aid which is way lower than the agreed upon UN level.
But this is irrelevent, as is your cringing due to a statement that is the accepted fact in political and economical circles. Which are my 'majors'.
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 1:26am
The EU Rapid reaction force?
"where the hell did you dream that up shralp?
what benefits do we have from having americans around? none
america doesnt give us any money, infact they are currently taxing our trade for everything they can get, and we do not get nor need millitary protection from the US, the EU rapid raction force itself nearly rivals the US millitary, without the domestic millitaries of each EC member"
I'm sorry to bust your buble, but the EU rapid reaction force has the as yet unattained goal of being able to deploy 60,000 troops to any point in the world and the ability to maintain those forces for a period of up to 1 year. As far as I have been able to determin they have yet attain this goal. The thought of he EU rapid reaction force being near the strength of the US military is laughable.
And, I guess Europe didn't benifit one bit from the thousands of troops definding them from the Soviet Union for over 40 years.
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 1:48am
"It should be 'you're' when you wish to indicate 'you are' not 'your.' Sorry, I couldn't resist given the snide remark about Americans and correct usage of the language. "
point out where i misused it
"Shoshino, don't try to insult the way americans use the english language, because we don't! American English is what our language has been named"
i do not use american english, i use english, the actual language, not the bastardisation.
"Take for instance "husband", it is an arabic word, the British use Groom or Bridegroom instead. So in fact our language is better"
we use the word husbund as well, and if you actually do your research youll find that the word husbund comes from husbundry, which is directly associated with horses, not humans.
let me correct this sentance;
"It is a combined language of quite a few different ones, take for instance "husband," it is an arabic word. The British use Groom or Bridegroom instead; so in fact our language is better, it consists of the best of quite a few, English is just the basis for it. Besides, look at your grammar, regardless of what language, you obviously missed 5th grade "
Amon-ra, he is directly associating the GNP with its expenditure on foreign aid, so basically out of what the US could spend it doesnt compare to what the US does spend, and in which case, the EC countries which couldnt spend that much, they spend a larger proportion of their gross revenue on foreign aid
"In regards to the topic: I believe, correct me if i'm wrong, that Shralp is referring to the money and aid that was given to Europe at the time when these bases were established. "
the US government didnt give aid, they paid for tha land and the recources used to build their bases
"SOME of it was done by the United States, and we aren't even in Europe. Charity? Spit it back in our face, then. "
alot of this was done because the US recognised the sacrifice of the european people to save their arse during WW2, if it werent for us the US would have been nuked, ref: 'telemar'
"I'm sorry to bust your buble, but the EU rapid reaction force has the as yet unattained goal of being able to deploy 60,000 troops to any point in the world and the ability to maintain those forces for a period of up to 1 year. As far as I have been able to determin they have yet attain this goal. The thought of he EU rapid reaction force being near the strength of the US military is laughable"
sorry to burst your bubble llandon, but the EU rapid reaction force boasts 120000 soldiers, 40000, armoured units, 125 warships, 660 advanced aerospace warplanes, , and these forces are not designed to operate in the world, that would undermine NATO which was a specific request of the US, so these forces are designed only (currently) to operate inside europe in response to a possible threat.
"And, I guess Europe didn't benifit one bit from the thousands of troops definding them from the Soviet Union for over 40 years. "
lol, american forces never did anything to defent europe from the soviet union, for the best part of the cold war we had a cease fire with them, and in later years when the union became more agressive they didnt stand a chance at an invasion against europe.
another thing i would like to point out, america's bases in europe are nothing more then tourism to the EC, their soldiers spend money when they go to bars etc, we dont get anything from taxes from the bases because they are considered american soil. maybe when america leaves them we'll knock something off america's $2.8billion international debt to europe (yes thats something you missed in your 'foreign aid' ideals)
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 2:50am
Shoshino, I'd love to correct the numerous grammatical and spelling errors in your last post (please learn to proofread!), but the amount of anti-American vitriol you've been spewing after asking the mods to close a topic of yours if it turned into America-bashing shows me that you're a petty hypocrite who's not worth my time or effort.
EDIT: Say whatever you like in response. There will be no answer because I won't read it. Good day, sir.
[ February 20, 2003, 02:53: Message edited by: Rallymama ]
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 3:18am
i havent defended the UK against anything, so how can i be a hipocrit?
also, i know there were spelling and grammar errors in my post, as i said earlier, im not going to write an english essay every time i want to say something.
i asked the moderators to close another so topic of mine in a different thread because i know how much you weak minded americans get hurt by people bashing your government
"EDIT: Say whatever you like in response. There will be no answer because I won't read it. Good day, sir."
my heart bleeds, guess i wont have to talk to you anymore, what a shame
and another thing, you mention america bashing, this thread was based on europe bashinc, this post in particular:
"Yeah, the Europeans want all the benefits of having the U.S. around without any obligations. Apparently in order for us to avoid being called paternalistic we have to just give them all lots of money, military protection, etc. and then just never mention it when they start to work actively against us. "
my response was in levie of this post, so you punch, i punch back.
[ February 20, 2003, 03:22: Message edited by: Shoshino ]
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 3:51am
I will reinforce Amon-Ra's point by saying that it is mere jealousy on the part of foreigners to whine about the fact that the Americans can outspend them on a raw basis while STILL not denting their GNP. America should not be penalized for having a strong economy. When ANY country, including mine, can match the American's raw generosity, they will then, maybe, have the right to criticise.
This will be the first time I've directly addressed someone on the board, but Shoshino, you have lost all sense of perspective. The American's are not perfect, or even anywhere close, but your hatred of them borders on the pathological. Given that the UK and the US are probably the strongest allies in the world today, and my belief (I don't know for sure) that there are no US bases on UK soil, your unreasoned anti-American sentiments reflect poorly on you. What has America done to you or your country that makes you hate it so?
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 3:59am
there are 8 us airbases on british soil, and blair has recently given permission for the US to use one of our radar arrays which is the most advanced on the surface of the planet in aid of his controversial 'star wars' project
"What has America done to you or your country that makes you hate it so? "
take the world for granted
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 4:21am
Why are there still any US bases in Germany?
What are we protecting them from?
The USSR....? Oh wait! Are they still around? :hahaerr:
*grumbles some as Tax Day approaches* :almostmad:
Where is my peace dividend!? :hmm:
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 4:50am
Aces, there are two reasons that I can guess at off the top of my head.
1: The bases are there, they're built, and the inertia of bureaucracies everywhere makes it difficult for any major changes to take place.
2: The United States is the world's only superpower, and wants to remain that way. Thus, America wishes to be able to project its power anywhere around the world with a minimum of hassle. You could view that as good or bad. I know of no precedent, but I figure that if a country asked the Us to abandon a base, they probably would. [edit -- Grammar]
[ February 20, 2003, 04:51: Message edited by: Depaara ]
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 5:36am
and another thing, your an american your hardly in any place to dictate to me the correct use of the english language This was the initial post that I was replying in an offbeat manner to.
It should be 'you're' when you wish to indicate 'you are' not 'your.' Sorry, I couldn't resist given the snide remark about Americans and correct usage of the language. You then said,
point out where i misused it
Well, look at the first quote in this message. You use 'your'(twice) which is possessive when in fact the context of the message indicates you meant 'you are' which should be 'you're.' I hope this answers your (possessive) question.
Here is the thing with extremely poor writing: it is certainly excusable by those who visit the board and don't speak English as a first language. However, for those who do, to fail to spend the very small amount of time necessary to make your post readable and as correct as is reasonable under the circumstances indicates a lack of respect for others imo. Also, it indicates that there wasn't much effort put into the post which, perhaps wrongly, devalues the
That's just my off topic 2 cents but it seems to have become an issue.
[ February 20, 2003, 05:38: Message edited by: Laches ]
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 5:44am
You know, I forget all the in's and out's of the draft.
What the upper age? Isn't it like 35 or something? Depending on the severity of the callup.
Man. I know my damn number is right up there at the top of the list. They like repeat customers.
But either way, I'd rather go back to isolationism for a while. Close all our bases. Hell, close the ones in Britian if that's what they want. We can get our people over to Britian fast enough to back them up, anytime.
But pull them out of Korea. And Kuwait. And the UAE (or at least, stop making port calls). Close down Diego Garcia. And Atsugi. And Germany and Italy.
The whole world. Pull all our people back home. And set them up watching the borders and sniffing for cocaine.
And just kinda, see what the rest of the world does for a while. We've got plenty of stuff to keep us entertained here. We've got kids shooting each other on the streets and schools. And 10 and 12 year old female prostitutes. And DUI's.
Besides. It'll give us time to come up with a fuel alternative. And we can open up a few more breeder reactors, and cycle some of that nasty stuff through there for a little power generation.
Yep. Pull all our people back home for awhile. I'm totally for it.
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 8:23am
I think 26 is the age limit for the draft, barring some total nuclear war scenario.
26 was for WW II wasn't it? I doubt any war will ever be bigger.
Now I generally support the US military, but bases are good on the front lines. During the Cold War West Germany was the front line. Now Germany is a democracy surrounded by other democracies. No need for bases.
US troops would be more useful stationed elsewhere I think. Middle East, South Korea are two front line hot spots that come to mind. Of coarse the weather isn't as nice in either of those places. ;)
As to the spelling and grammar here, there is a spell checker at the top of each page, just to the left of the Chatroom. It doesn't help grammar I fear... :happy:
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 11:32am
Hmm... I neglect to check the boards for a day and this thread turns into a mess.
I'm sorry for the unsolicited advice but let's keep to the topic. I realize that it's natural to defend one's country or region when it feels that it is being attacked. I'm surprised the mods haven't stepped in. Let's use PMs. I cringe when I read your posts. Perhaps others too.
On the lighter side, I am willing to correct your grammar if you wish. I'm neither from the U.S. nor the U.K. but I'm fairly proficient in both versions of the English language. I would be a neutral arbiter. :D
[ February 20, 2003, 18:45: Message edited by: Charlie ]
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 2:12pm
ejsmith, I like your idea of a period of isolationism. World consensus - including many voice in the US - seems to be that no one likes having the US play policeman. OK, so we won't. The other roles that will go out the window at the same time are doctor (no more government-sponsored medical aid or vaccinations), fireman (no more natural-disaster rescue efforts), and caterer (no more food aid).
Do that for a while and it will be easy to see if the US takes the world for granted, or the other way around.
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 4:01pm
"The United States is the world's only superpower"
see, this is another thing which the people of the world dont like, the US is not the worlds only superpower at all:
a country which has very great political and military power
which includes alot more countries of the world.
laches, ok, so were both wrong, because if i had bothered with the apostrophes then it would have looked like this
" and another thing, your' an american your' hardly in any place to dictate to me the correct use of the english language"
because its not you are (singluar) its you are (plural) because i was refering to americans on the whole.
"However, for those who do, to fail to spend the very small amount of time necessary to make your post readable and as correct as is reasonable under the circumstances indicates a lack of respect for others imo"
i speak 6 languages, and as ive said before, im not going to write an english essay every time i want to say something here, it is a waste of time.
"I'm surprised the mods haven't stepped in"
if the mods did step in then it would completely devalue debates here, without emotion a debate is nothing.
"ejsmith, I like your idea of a period of isolationism. World consensus - including many voice in the US - seems to be that no one likes having the US play policeman. OK, so we won't. The other roles that will go out the window at the same time are doctor (no more government-sponsored medical aid or vaccinations), fireman (no more natural-disaster rescue efforts), and caterer (no more food aid)."
yep, go solve your own problems first, when your enlightened maybe the world will give you enough respect to tell them how to live. with regards to foreign aid, the withdrawl of american aid probably wouldnt make that much impact since the US only sents supplies instead of doing what europe does and sending them the means to grow their own food, boar to get their own water, and learn to look after themselves, the world doesnt want to live on handouts.
with regards to disaster aid, the US doesnt send much, they only send it when their assets may be in danger, they dont send aid fo japan when earthquakes strike, they dont send aid to aus to help fight the bush fires.
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 5:07pm
WOW, look what I started! :lol:
I'd feel bad, but I'm seeing at least one fruit of this futility ... Shoshino found the shift key ... and that makes all the difference!
Sho ... really, no hard feelings. I think you and I will disagree about most things in this section of the Forum, but we're both adults and most of these opinions (mine included) are hardly worth the keyboard they are typed on. Friends?
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 6:31pm
That's the spirit, Rallymama! If people want to bite the hand that aids them, then they shouldn't expect that hand to always be there. It's easy to criticize the daylights out of any country's foreign policy, but a lot harder to come up with a better solution.
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 6:55pm
"Sho ... really, no hard feelings. I think you and I will disagree about most things in this section of the Forum, but we're both adults and most of these opinions (mine included) are hardly worth the keyboard they are typed on. "
its good to disagree, otherwise debateing would be boring.
sure, although it will be short lived since i pass back out on monday, and then ill be gone for a month... well, unless war breaks out in which case probably longer
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 6:59pm
The US is most certainliy the worlds only superpower. Atleast if you compare it to the rest of the world. Sure Russia and China may be really powerful but they are still dwarfed by the might of the US.
[ February 20, 2003, 19:59: Message edited by: joacqin ]
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 7:10pm
didnt you read the definition of superpower?
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 7:58pm
I did read it, but apparently you didnt read my post.
Thu, 20th Feb '03, 9:24pm
I'm not saying "let the world see just how important the US is". Not at all. I prefer life, to death.
But it will come to our doorstep within 20 years. And by our doorstep, I'm talking planes dropping bombs on LA, and missiles landing in Houston with mustard gas and all the other nifty CBR toys. Make no mistake. The number of American casualities, on United States soil (Alaska and Hawaii included), will number in the millions. Tens of millions, I'd guess.
There will be dead Germans. And Britts. And Italians. And Croats. And Israelis. And Palestineans. And Kuwaitis. I wouldn't even be slightly surprised if Israel got pushed back, to the point where they had nothing to lose, and opened up with nuclear weapons. South Korea, maybe. India and Pakistan, if the Pakistanis started helping all the other Arab nations, and got nuked, and felt threatened by India to the point where those two started popping firecrackers.
It may very well not be bloody, at all. That whole British thing against blood might not come into play. People might very well not get the chance to bleed.
But, there'd be some memorials. And you wouldn't even have to spend the cash to see them or build them. They'd make all the history books, for generations. Or at least, generations down the line a ways, when people had the time and ability to make books again.
You could visit the pockmark that was labeled "New York". And the one that said "Houston". And the one that said "Tinker Airforce Base, Oklahoma".
And that's the beauty of being president. You're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't. But every last one of them (including Clinton) felt like they'd rather go down in the history books as being "agressive", than waiting until there's twenty million dead, and people label him (her) as "negligent". Or "incompetent".
Which is what everyone was yelling after those two planes hit the WTC towers. Why didn't the CIA/FBI/NSA prevent it?
Which it wasn't. But for everyone looking for someone else to blame (rather than themselves), it was a good target. It wasn't funding. Or jurisdiction. Or recruiting. Or social security. Or education.
Fri, 21st Feb '03, 4:48am
Just to clarify:
"I'm surprised the mods haven't stepped in"
if the mods did step in then it would completely devalue debates here, without emotion a debate is nothing.
I am not against emotion. I said that the mods should have stepped in because a lot of the posts became off topic. That devalues debates.
[ February 21, 2003, 09:38: Message edited by: Charlie ]