Thursday, August 22, 2019

US Ambassador Grenell’s Threat to Germany Has Backfired, Driving Germany Closer to Russia

By 21st Century Wire - August 22, 2019 at 08:18AM

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Last week, German lawmakers sent a stark message to Washington. The argument escalated following a series of flippant comments made by US ambassador Richard Grenell who had demanded Germany increase its defense spending, claiming it was “really insulting to expect the US taxpayer to keep paying for over 50,000 Americans” stationed in Germany, and that the US would do well to move all of its military assets from Germany, and relocate eastward to Poland.

Lawmakers in Berlin reacted by welcoming a US withdrawal from German soil – and proceeded to tell the US it can take its nuclear weapons with them.

Dietmar Bartsch, chairman of the Left Party, said, “The US ambassador is right: US taxpayers should not have to pay for US troops in Germany … If the Americans pull out their soldiers, they also have to pull out their nuclear weapons.”

Other German parliamentarians spoke out. Lars Klingbeil, secretary-general of the SPD, accusing Grenell of bullying Berlin, stating, “We will not be blackmailed by the Americans.”

Clearly, this has been another epic failure of diplomacy by a seemingly directionless Trump administration.

Unfortunately, it isn’t the first time Grenell has drwn fire from Berlin. He was also accused of acting like “a high commissioner of an occupying power,” by Wolfgang Kubicki, deputy leader of the Free Democrats (FDP).

In the end, these type of mindless antics by Washington will only result in pushing Europe and Russia closer together.

With the Nord Stream II pipeline project still underway, this could end up being an extremely costly move for the anti-Russia lobby in Washington.

Antiwar.com reports…
US relationships with several nations have faced challenges with the major priority changes of President Trump. Germany is no exception, and what was long one of the closest relationships in the West is now fragile, and steadily worsening.

There are a number of reasons why. Germany’s economic power has made it a target for Trump’s trade wars. The Trump hostility to the European Union has also put it at odds with Germany and its neighbors. And a big reason is that Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel really don’t communicate that much.

US Ambassador Richard Grenell hasn’t helped matters, spurning traditional events the German government puts on for US envoys, and feeling himself entitled to constantly issue policy demands and threaten repercussions if Germany doesn’t comply.

Grenell has made himself a lot of enemies as a result, and many see it as just typical of the way the Trump Administration generally behaves around its traditional allies. This once again adds to the communication problem, as ideally his job would be to keep the lines open between the two countries, and he’s broadly not doing that.
Reprinted with permission from 21st Century Wire.

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