As clearly indicated by the Pentagon, the reduction of forces in Germany wanted by President Donald Trump will involve 11,900 soldiers. Of the remaining 22,600 soldiers in Germany, 6,400 will be returned to the United States while another 5,500 sent in Italy, Belgium, Romania, and Poland. The forces in Spagndahlem airbase will also be transferred in Italy, to Aviano, together with 4 thousand soldiers already there. EUcom, the headquarters of the US command for Europe, will be transferred from Stuttgart to Belgium, where the headquarter of NATO’s allied forces, Shape, is based. From this point of view, the presence in Belgium of two such strategic commands will only benefit the coordination of NATO forces. On the other hand, it will require enormous investments by the Pentagon to which European allies will have to contribute, starting from Italy.
President Trump explained many times the political motivation behind these choices. First, punish Germany for having made a minor contribution, despite its economic growth, to the maintenance of NATO, and second, punish Germany for its close collaboration, through the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, with Russia. Trump’s decision was predictable after the London summit for the 70th anniversary of NATO, in which the US president had given an exclusively corporate interpretation of the Atlantic synergy with European countries. He emphasized the need, not only to increase the contributions of European countries to NATO, but also the need for European states to purchase military and high-tech products in the telecommunications sector of American origin.
From a geopolitical point of view, the American choices are due to the possibility that the new centrality acquired by Poland will strengthen the enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance to contain the Russian power projection. It is not a coincidence that the Polish Minister of Defense, Mariusz Blaszczak, fully shared this decision. Moscow intends to create the Eurasian Union in the long term also to contain the enlargement of NATO to the east. Moscow will never accept the enlargement of NATO to include Eastern countries because it sees this projection of power as a threat to its geopolitical interests. This will inevitably lead to constant political conflict between the Washington and the Kremlin.
Military bases in Europe allow the United States to project its posture and economic power not only to Russia but to North Africa and the Middle East. Western Europe, through NATO and the European Union, constitutes the most important bridgehead for the access of the United States to Eurasia. In other words, what the United States is putting in place is to implement a strategy aimed at encircling Russia, Iran and China which today more than ever constitute real challenges to American hegemonic plans. We must not forget that the realization of the Atlantic Alliance aimed to prevent any national power from achieving a dominant position in both sectors of Eurasia. That’s why the United States has always resorted to strategic penetration in the Eurasian context.
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