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Andreas Kluth

U.S. Troop Cuts in Germany Would Be a Disastrous Mistake

If the Americans pulled soldiers out of the country, it would be another nail in the coffin of “the West.”

Don’t break these bonds.

Don’t break these bonds.

Photographer: Patrik Stollarz/AFP via Getty Images

It’s always interesting to see who’s celebrating. In German politics, that’s currently the Left Party, a descendant of East Germany’s former dictatorship that likes to brew anti-Americanism and Russophilia into a toxic populist mix.

The party’s bosses are delighted about a rumor, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, that the U.S. may pull out some 9,500 of the 34,500 American troops stationed in Germany, and then cap their numbers at 25,000. Dietmar Bartsch, the Left’s caucus leader, suggested that Germany should instead urge the U.S. to withdraw all its forces, and get it to take home American nukes as well. In Moscow, President Vladimir Putin must be wondering at his luck.