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18 Aug, 2019 15:20

Most Germans won't feel unsafe if US troops leave, have little faith in their own army - poll

Most Germans won't feel unsafe if US troops leave, have little faith in their own army - poll

Three-quarters of Germans say that a US troop pullout won’t leave them defenseless, but almost as many believe their own army would be of little effect, a poll found, amid reports that Washington may move its assets to Poland.

74 percent of people surveyed by pollster Emnid for Bild magazine believe they wouldn’t feel less secure if American troops were to withdraw from Germany, as compared to 18 percent who said the US military presence reinforces their feeling of safety.

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Previously, two American ambassadors, Georgette Mosbacher in Warsaw and the notorious Richard Grenell in Berlin, have hinted that relocating US forces to neighboring Poland might be a possibility, as Washington becomes increasingly angry at what it sees as Germany’s low defense spending.

While Berlin fails to achieve a military spending target of 2 percent of its GDP, Poland has succeeded, making it an ideal country to host the American military contingent, they stated at the time. The public speculation was greeted with a harsh response from German politicians.  Dietmar Bartsch from the opposition Left Party suggested that “if the Americans pull out soldiers, they will also have to pull out their nuclear weapons.”

Troop withdrawal rumors aside, the Emnid poll found that 62 percent of respondents don’t believe Germany’s armed forces are able to defend their country.

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The revelation may be quite embarrassing for the Bundeswehr as military snafus have been a constant source of news, of heavy armor that breaks down, combat aircraft that is incapable of flying or soldiers either unfit for service or who harbor extremist views.