Letter to the Editor / FOREIGN POLICY
By Roger C. Kostmayer
Foreign policy and multilateral international relations aren’t all that complicated. A good deal of it is based on using “carrots & sticks” to encourage or discourage actions by allies and adversaries that affect our national interests. Normally, this means encouraging behavior that’s good for the USA, and discouraging behavior that would threaten our national security.
The White House just announced a unilateral foreign policy decision that is an excellent example of what NOT to do. The US is going to withdraw 12,000 American troops from Germany and shut down important facilities that are protecting Europe and NATO from Russian aggression and expansion. To understand puzzling political or government actions, it helps to ask who benefits and who loses. The sole beneficiary in this case is Russia, because it is Putin’s dream to weaken the effective Germany-US defenses and our allied relationships. The list of losers in this new policy begins with American leadership, national security and the American tax payers who will pay billions for this counter-productive retreat and restructure.
This American betrayal by Putin’s puppet has caused leaders from both political parties, and our allies, to condemn it. The President’s false rationale is that Germany should be punished for not paying more for defense, yet US forces will be sent to other countries that pay less than Germany for defense.
Exactly why a US president is determined to make Russia great again while denigrating our closest allies is unclear but, until now, no US president has ever adopted a foreign policy that rewards American enemies and punishes its friends.