In response to Germany’s steadfast leadership of international opposition to a war against Iraq, the U.S. is threatening to withdraw all its troops and bases from Germany and end military and industrial cooperation between the two countries, reports the liberal British weekly The Observer.
Citing unnamed Pentagon sources, reporters Peter Beaumont, David Rose, and Paul Beaver suggest that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is seeking revenge for the German government stubborn opposition to an Iraq invasion.”We are doing this for one reason only: to harm the German economy,” said one source. “Our troops contribute many millions of dollars. Why should we continue to support a country which has treated NATO and the protection we provided for decades with such incredible contempt?”
Germany earns billions of euros every year from supporting the U.S. Army Europe (42,000 troops) and the withdrawal of troops and cancelling of defense contracts would be a crippling blow to an already-struggling German economy.