Germans Actually Want US Troops Out Of Germany, Poll Finds

A central irony behind Trump's rumored "threat" that he could withdraw or at least greatly reduce American troops stationed in Germany, who last month wrote to Angela Merkel of “growing frustration in the United States that some allies have not stepped up as promised” on defense spending, is that Germans don't actually want US troops on their soil to begin with, according to a new poll.

On Wednesday Trump slammed Germany from the moment he touched down in Brussels for expecting the US to foot the bill for Europe's security in the face of Russian aggression while Germany and others cut massive energy deals with Russian energy companies. In an exchange the president promptly posted on Twitter, he said Germany is "totally controlled by Russia" in reference to the planned Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is to supply the country with Russian natural gas. "Germany is a rich country,"Trump said, implying it should increase spending on its own defense.

It appears the German public agrees with Trump on this point as a YouGov poll  the results of which were first published for the dpa news agency on the first day of the NATO summit — finds that Germans would actually welcome American troop withdrawal from their soil (though a policy of outright US withdrawal is not on the table this week, nor is expected to be broached... but with Trump, who knows?). 

Screenshot of video of Wednesday's breakfast with NATO Secretary General

The poll found that "42 percent said they supported American withdrawal while just 37 percent wanted the soldiers to stay, with 21 per cent undecided." 

Citizens polled who were part of outlier or non-establishment political parties tended to be most strongly in favor of an American military exit from Germany:

Voters for the left-wing Die Linke are particularly in favour of withdrawal, with 67 per cent backing it, as are supporters of the far-right AfD, on 55 per cent. Greens also back withdrawal by 48 per cent.

Less supportive of withdrawal are voters for the centre-right CDU, at 35 per cent, the SPD at 42 per cent, and the FDP at 37 per cent. —The Independent

Trump has lately berated other NATO member states for not living up to a 2014 pledge to reach two percent of GDP on defense by 2024, as only three European countries have reached the mark. Germany, which has had tense ties with the US in recent months, has already indicated it will be unable to meet that goal; Poland, however, has met the target.

A continued theme the president is expected to emphasize this week in Brussels is to urge other governments of the alliance to dramatically increase military spending and lower import tariffs.

On this point, the YouGov poll shows the German public at odds with American and NATO leaders:

The same poll also found significant opposition to militarism in general in the country. Just 15 per cent of all Germans agree with Angela Merkel that the country should increase its military spending to 2 per cent of GDP by 2024, with 36 percent saying the country's already spends too much on its military.

So interestingly, those surveyed tend to favor American security draw down in the heart of Europe along with a humble German foreign policy.

Map source: Wikimedia Commons

It could be that like many in the US, Germans are increasingly aware that such entangling (and some might say outdated) alliances as NATO only creates more unnecessary tensions and trouble in a world increasingly nervous over Western expansion and hegemony (a Cold War era "north Atlantic" alliance used for regime change in north Africa being a prime example).

Should this come as any surprise? Similar polls over the past decade have shown the German public to be simultaneously desirous of close ties with the United States yet consistently opposed to Washington dragging Europe into military campaigns abroad.

In 2015 Foreign Policy summarized this trend as follows

Surveys have consistently shown that Germans are far less supportive than Americans regarding the use of military force to maintain order in the world: in 2011 75 percent of Americans voiced the view that force is sometimes necessary compared with only 50 percent of Germans. More than 80 percent of Germans supported Berlin’s decision to not use military force in Iraq, according to Pew Research surveys at the time. In Afghanistan, where Germany had troops, by 2010 and 2011, majorities of Germans wanted NATO and U.S. troops withdrawn.

And Germany abstained in the United Nations vote on intervention in Libya. Indeed, the latest Pew Research survey finds a distinct German reticence about taking on more of the global security burden. Asked if Berlin should play a more active military role in helping to maintain peace and stability in the world, only 25 percent of Germans agree. 

Last month, a report suggested the Pentagon is already in the process of tallying the cost of keeping troops and its vast military bases (the US has over 20 - and many other joint command locations - with Ramstein Air Base being the largest; and at the height of the Cold War there were over 200) in Germany ahead of possible withdrawal. However, early this month Pentagon officials denied such an audit is taking place

It will be interesting to see if Trump, in his notorious off-the-cuff and unpredictable manner of speaking, actually pulls this out as a negotiating card either publicly or in private exchanges in Brussels this week. 

* * *

Figures from a 2016 Germany Embassy in the US fact sheet on US military presence in Germany since the early 2000's:

  • Each year, Germany contributes nearly $1 billion to the upkeep of U.S. bases in Germany. 
  • Ramstein Air Base, the biggest U.S. base in Germany, costs about $1 billion annually - an amount equal to Germany's yearly contribution toward the upkeep of U.S. bases. 
  • On average, the other 43 bases cost about $240 million each — about the same as a single F/A-22 fighter jet.
  • With 34,000 American residents, Kaiserslautern is the largest American community outside of the United States.
  • Since 1945, some 17 million Americans have served tours of duty in Germany. Many return time and again as tourists.


Haus-Targaryen ACP Thu, 07/12/2018 - 03:19 Permalink

I would be in favor of this. 

Germans are the dumbest group of smart people I've ever encountered in my life. 

"Give an idiot enough rope and he'll hang himself with it" -- Haus' grandmother. 

I think the US should do exactly that and give the germans as much rope as they want. 

In reply to by ACP

Rapunzal Haus-Targaryen Thu, 07/12/2018 - 03:22 Permalink

Germany is not a sovereign state. It never got a peace treaty and has no constitution therefore. Germany is officially a colony of the Anglo American Bankster Empire. I guess once TPTB decided there is no need for sovereign countries anymore why grant Germany a peace treaty. Eventually they want their one world government anyway. Yes even after reunification they gave Germany no peace treaty.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

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In reply to by ACP

Faeriedust Took Red Pill Thu, 07/12/2018 - 18:20 Permalink

Since 1990 (Iraq I), the National Guard has been continuously mobilized to assist in one or another Presidential "war of convenience".  It has long ceased to be the rich kids' hideaway from real war and become just another division of the Army.  So what if we demobilize the National Guard and return it to its former function as state controlled troops available to state governors for use in temporary emergencies (riots, hurricanes, floods, forest fires, etc.)?  And yes, I'm sure it is allowed for national troops to patrol the goddamned border with a foreign country!  The Posse Comitatus Act (which has been virtually eliminated by special clauses under the Patriot Act anyway) prohibits the military from being used for internal law enforcement.  Enforcement of borders is the quintessential purpose of any military.  

In reply to by Took Red Pill

giovanni_f ACP Thu, 07/12/2018 - 03:56 Permalink

"Always remember, Intelligence and Wisdom are separate and distinct."

Great, Mr. Sokrates (US Disney-edition, $0.99 at Amazon). Europeans can't wait to witness the Yanks use all their world-renowned wisdom (McCain, Trump, Waters, Weiner, Kardashian) and fuck off, leaving Europe alone, and start building an own civilization (no, West Philly and Baltimore do not qualify as achievements, same for disneyland).

I will even personally send you off with a warm 'ciao', waving the confederation flag for you. You have my word. And don't let the door hit your ass.

In reply to by ACP

Scipio Africanuz ACP Thu, 07/12/2018 - 05:11 Permalink

Absolutely correct! Which is why President Trump should listen to the Germans, who NATO pretends to protect, and GEXIT! The Germans, have also provided a way out of Syria, by concluding in their Bundestag, that US presence in Syria, is illegitimate and thus, illegal!

Since it wasn't Trump that put them there, he's absolved of the blame, and thus, can rectify, and claim credit for reversing a disastrous policy.

In other news, I hear some Brits have made a Trump baby blimp, well, good for them. Now, in response, are there any enterprising Americans, who can make a Trump baby blimp, wearing overalls, holding a wrench, wearing a MAGA hat? I sure hope so, don't get mad, get creative, and make some coins, cheers...

In reply to by ACP

giovanni_f Haus-Targaryen Thu, 07/12/2018 - 04:04 Permalink

"Germans are the dumbest group of smart people I've ever encountered in my life"

Confirmed. Does not mean that they get any less dumb under the rule of the Yanks. Apart from that, Germany, along with rest of Western Europe, is a thing o the past. From a US perspective it is just an asset, the juicy part hidden under the "E" of "EMEA", if you so will.

In reply to by Haus-Targaryen

giovanni_f ACP Thu, 07/12/2018 - 04:53 Permalink

"THE NAZIS NEVER LEFT". True - for the American nazis. They had no reason to leave the US.

The German Nazis left either for South America or for the US. Those who remained in Germany became staunch Atlanticists and rabid Russia-haters. They continued, under American control, to work as journalists or in government, knowing full well that their carreer depended on full compliance with their new lords. 

German Nazis, more gifted than their American Nazi brothers, helped them to build rockets and create that wondeful torture manual which was widely used all over the word, mostly in South America. American researchers were very much interested in the torture experiments the Nazis conducted and continued them after the war on German soil with the same German staff but moved the whole enterprise to the US where it was perfectionized. 

Don't  believe even for a second that the Nazis are a genuine German product. It is a common transtatlantic project financed by wealthy donors in England, Germany and the US.

If this is all too complicated for a Yank, start searching the internet with the terms "Gina Haspel" + "torture". 

In reply to by ACP

halcyon ACP Thu, 07/12/2018 - 05:23 Permalink

No, US is not out of Germany.

USA never held friendly bases with it's ally Germany.

USA has always occupied Germany (it's even in the peace agreements).

Only when USA runs out of printing press ability or Germans rise against US, does USA leave Germany.

Germany is an important base of operation for USA's propaganda, air operations, SIGINT and keeping a skillful and intelligent country on it's knees.

So, USA won't leave, regardless of what Trump-supporters hope and wish (and I support them, but don't believe in the probability of leave happening).


In reply to by ACP

Baron Samedi halcyon Thu, 07/12/2018 - 06:11 Permalink

--> halcyon:  I think Germany's problem has been Mama Merkin & a globalist elite - that has now overplayed and shown its hand in trying to dilute away the teutonic cultural synergy en route to the postmodern serfdom much discussed here on ZH.

But once (if -) Germany does get the ZATO-vampire $quid off its face, things could get interesting (again ...).  A signifcant U$D devaluation could do that.  And so could this //late edits (2) - nervous va$$als//:……

I have read - somewhere - that Germany manufactures nuclear weapons components for the French (see towards end of this item):




In reply to by halcyon

DosZap Killdo Thu, 07/12/2018 - 17:25 Permalink

Not totally, the Germans of a 100yrs ago were very warlike,but super smart, and very diligent hard working peoples.

I said when the EU was formed there goes Europe.It took a while, but unless they ALL get their crap together and fast, they will have no Europe.

In reply to by Killdo

IvannaHumpalot Lost in translation Thu, 07/12/2018 - 07:53 Permalink

you do know that despite all that 'refugees welcome' virtue signalling, the german women don't want the muslim men. they won't marry them or have kids with them. Very rare exceptions. they are looking for german men to reproduce their family and culture. So what happens is this: the germans get diluted out, it gets harder for the german women to meet the german men, and they end up waiting and getting older and not reproducing at all. They'll chose nothing over a muslim man.


The muslim man will go back to his source country for his arranged marriage and bring over his 17yo bride and pump out 7 kids.

In reply to by Lost in translation

Harry Lightning cankles' server Thu, 07/12/2018 - 04:49 Permalink

In that poll about a majority of Germans wanting the US military out of Germany, it would have been very interesting to see a delineation of results based on the residence of the respondents. What portion of the 42% who want the US out are from the old East Germany and how many from the West. My guess is that the former East Germans were substantially in favor of the US leaving, while the opposite was true in the old West Germany.

The US should not wait, they should downsize out of Europe regardless of who is paying what. Its a huge waste of money to defend a continent that really is in no danger of being over-run, except by the immigrants that the European governments have let into their countries. 

In reply to by cankles' server

deadeye Harry Lightning Thu, 07/12/2018 - 07:26 Permalink


I have a tendency to agree with your first paragraph.

I lived in Germany during Pres Clinton's push to pull the US military out of Germany. There were polls that said the Germans wanted the US to leave. Shortly after the start of the draw-down, German businesses and many citizens started screaming bloody murder to stop the draw-down. They began to realize how much Germany and it's businesses and citizens counted on the $$ spent locally by US military, their families, and civilian contractors for the military. Everything supporting them is bought on the German economy, including rent and utilities for much housing. There was no way for the locals to replace this income locally if the US pulled out. It was so vehement, Pres. Clinton backed down from a full draw-down.

In those  days, the W. Germans did not have a good opinion of the "Easties" (those from E.  Germany) who expected the "state" to take care of them. Now there is an "asylum" group to replace the Easties. Germany has had much to overcome and still has much to overcome.

In reply to by Harry Lightning

truthalwayswinsout Thu, 07/12/2018 - 02:49 Permalink

If the US leaves Germany, the National Socialists will again take power just like they did in the 1930's

If you look at European History in the Modern Era, it was the Franco-Prussian War, WWI and WWII that dominated the continent. The only other trend was Napoleon who also had the "blood of Germans in him because he wanted to rule the world."