Grassley on Reports of Troop Withdrawal from Germany
Jun 17, 2020
Prepared Floor Remarks by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
On Reports of Troop Withdrawal from Germany
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
While there are reports of plans to remove troops stationed in Germany, I am reluctant to comment on a proposal that I have not seen.
What I can say, is that Congress will have a say.
And, that the U.S. commitment to NATO and our European allies is rock solid.
That said, it is not in the American character to project power for its own sake.
Since World War II, we have reluctantly accepted the lesson that our geography and goodwill alone cannot protect us from being dragged into global conflicts.
The U.S. military presence in Europe since World War II has preserved the freedom of half of Europe and contributed to the eventual freedom of the other half.
Yet, despite enjoying economic and security benefits, polls show our presence is unpopular with a large segment of the German public.
Combine the American public’s reluctance to station troops abroad with the sense that they are not wanted or appreciated by their hosts, and you can expect some second thoughts.
But this isn’t the whole story.
I know many German political leaders who treasure the friendship between our two countries and their voices are needed now more than ever.
Moreover, our bases in Germany are not there just for the Germans. They provide critical support to troops in harm’s way in the Middle East and are vital for NATO deterrence.
The people of Poland and the Baltic countries are among the most pro-American you can find anywhere.
And, the governments representing them put their money where their mouth is when it comes to NATO.
Our mere presence in Europe reduces the likelihood of Russian aggression against these friends and a repeat of their past oppression.
America will not abandon our allies. Our credibility and national honor demands it.