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Why does the US still have so many military bases in Germany?

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cowcommander Donating Member (679 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 08:47 AM
Original message
Why does the US still have so many military bases in Germany?


What's the point? And why aren't the germans kicking us out, seems like we never ended the occupation after WW2.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. Great Question! And a good way to cut defense spending without looking weak
Edited on Tue Jan-18-11 08:50 AM by KittyWampus
would be to reduce our military personnel's footprint.

Reduce bases worldwide and use manpower to take over duties contractors have been allowed to do over the last several decades.

Doing that would thus save even MORE money by having jobs done better and more cheaply using our own military rather than over-paid professionals.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
2. Why would they kick us out?
Edited on Tue Jan-18-11 09:12 AM by Statistical
We subsidize their national defense allowing them to save billions (likely trillions if you count all spending from WWII to today). That money can then fund expanded social programs without raising taxes. Even better the 100,000 or so American servicemen & servicewomen spend money in Germany economy pumping billions more into local businesses. Germany has negotiated contracts so that tens of thousands of Germans are employed. Indirectly tens of thousands more are employed because military units are required to contract with local businesses for some resources (paving roads on bases, electrical work, construction, etc).

They will NEVER kick us out. As long as American taxpayers are willing to provide free defense for Germany and then pay the Germans cold hard cash for the "right" to do it why would they kick us out?

Imagine a foreign non-profit entity that set up shop in the US. Now imagine they wasted trillions of foreign taxpayers money and dumped all that here, pumping billions into local economy, and employed tens of thousands of people ... would you kick them out? Would anyone?
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 08:54 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Economic stimulus for Germany, sure. "Free defense"? Bullshit. Germany doesn't need the bases.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 08:59 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Most counties in Europe spend 3% to 5% on defense.
Edited on Tue Jan-18-11 09:07 AM by Statistical
Most citizens (paranoid or not) are unwilling to live in a country that spends nothing on defense (notable exception being Switzerland).

Germany spend <2% of GDP on defense. Needed or not it saves them billions every year. They get all the benefits of large defense budget without any of the cost. You can call it whatever you want but it is a free defense. Well not free. It is paid for by you and me.

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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:11 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Which would be about 2% to 4% more than they need to spend on "defense."
France, Britain and the Netherlands, to take three obvious examples, don't engage in "defense" but continue to run illegitimate empires and wreak havoc on the world far beyond their borders or any legitimate military interest. Also, in the case of the first two, to maintain suicidal nuclear arsenals. Fuck'em.

There is only one EU country that has a legitimate need for military defense, and with Greece as well, the only real solution would be peaceful mutual disarmament with Turkey so that both could investment their money in things that actually builds their economies.

As for Germany, how smart of them not to be blowing more than one euro in 50 on the fantasy that militaries bring security in the 2011 context.

And "most citizens" is a pretty rickety construct for your argument. Even if so, that doesn't make'em right.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Still there is no evidence Germany wouldn't spend an equivelent amount as its neighbors.
Edited on Tue Jan-18-11 09:16 AM by Statistical
Consider it keeping up with the Joneses but with WMD. Everytime this debate comes up in German government a large reason to extend the leases for the bases is the effect it would have on budget when Germany boosts defense spending to compensate. It doesn't mean the spending is needed, just that it will be spent.

"As for Germany, how smart of them not to be blowing more than one euro in 50 on the fantasy that militaries bring security in the 2011 context."
Smart or not. If the US left completely Germany would spend an equivelent amount on defense as its neighbors.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. If my grandmother were a train, she'd have wheels.
Who cares how much they'd spend if if if? It would still not be for "defense."
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. Ok now you are just arguing semantics.
By that logic the US doesn't spend very much on "defense" either.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
18. The US spends next to nothing on defense. It spends on aggressive war, empire, profiteering...
for the corporate contractors who buy Congress, and a bit of genuine technological-industrial subsidy (thanks to which certain companies can now profit from GPS, Internet, etc.).

Semantics is extremely important because this devotion over many decades of the majority of the discretionary budget (this destructive wasting of the nation's surplus) to the activities of the war machine has been justified as "defense." Names matter.
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Statistical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. Fine Germany spends less than 2% of GDP on the department of war/paranoia.
Edited on Tue Jan-18-11 10:09 AM by Statistical
Without US subsidy it would spend 3% to 5% on the Dept of war/paranoia.

Semantics doesn't change the fact that US taxpayers significantly subsidize German budget.
Which goes back to my original point. Why would Germany kick us out? They get all the benefits of a bloated War Dept with none of the costs.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 10:10 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. Well...
Certainly the ratio Defense/Offense is extremely unbalanced. It OUGHT to be 100-0.
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MattBaggins Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
11. Confoederatio Helvetica has a defense budget..
They may be crooked and hide under a banner of "neutrality" but they do have a military system that costs money.
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DrDan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:01 AM
Response to Original message
5. that looks like just the Army installations - U.S.A.F would include several more
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. You are correct.
The US Air Force has three bases and a presence at one NATO air base. The US Marines have one base in Germany.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mili...
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somone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
8. German beer and sausage
Edited on Tue Jan-18-11 09:20 AM by somone
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no_hypocrisy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. You read my mind. That was my free association moment.
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JackintheGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:18 AM
Response to Original message
10. Look at where they all are!
Clearly it is to protect us all from the monster hordes of the Schwarzwald.

And the Austrians. You know, in case they decide to get uppity about Franz Ferdinand. Catch us unawares.
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upi402 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
13. good beer? n/t
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Lasher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 09:58 AM
Response to Original message
15. We're there to bring freedom and democracy to the German people.
And to achieve victory.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 10:01 AM
Response to Original message
17. Three related reasons why the US maintains a constellation of bases in Germany.
Edited on Tue Jan-18-11 10:11 AM by JackRiddler
1) They are already there. Contractors are profiting and they have lobbies. Branches of the military are profiting and they ARE lobbies. This flow of billions of dollars would not necessarily be replaced by an alternative if these bases were to be shut down. Bird in the hand is worth a lot more than maybe only a half-bird in the bush.



2) Principle that the empire stays wherever the empire has gone. Self-perceived loss of face and "strength" if these bases were moved to US, or eliminated altogether.

2a) Keep Germany bound up in that empire. They have a stake.



3) Have been used as staging and support bases for the aggressive war operations on the Middle East. Whether or not these are necessary for such operations doesn't matter. That still makes them essential in the war planners' eyes. (See 1 and 2.) Whether or not these operations are criminal certainly does not matter.

3a) Again, keep Germany bound up in the empire and its aggressive war operations. For all the popular opposition there, the use of the bases in bombing and occupying Iraq and other places in spite of often massive German street protests establishes the assent in these US-NATO operations of a very important allied government. Spread the dirt!

.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-19-11 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. kick
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-18-11 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
21. With that concentration, you'd almost think there were oil fields and pipelines. nt
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