Sputniknews: Mr Scholz, some 4,000 US soldiers and 87 tanks are being relocated from Germany to Poland in NATO member states in Eastern and Central Europe. Is that much or little?
Jochen Scholz: It depends on what you want to do. It is a brigade, a third of a division, it can not lead to war. The decisive point from a German perspective is that the relocation does not take place within the framework of NATO. It is a bilateral agreement between Poland and the United States there are already questions about the legal basis of the logistical help that Germany is giving here. The entire German army base area, which is responsible for logistics was involved. The whole operation has to be paid for, and you can imagine who takes the costs.
In Germany and other locations American soldiers and war equipment are stationed. In the event of an emergency, Western Europe could thus serve as a hub for an American attack or defensive war?
Certainly. This was already the case during the Cold War. The plan foresaw that in the event of a war, up to 900,000 soldiers could be deployed to Europe via Frankfurt Airport. The US bases in Europe could still be used as a springboard, if there was a bigger conflict. Here, too, the question arises about the legal basis on which the United States operates bases in Europe. The NATO Treaty serves as the legal basis for the deployment of these forces. But everything that goes beyond this, such as the US national power projections from here to other parts of the world, is not consistent with the deployment contracts. The US troops in the east are deployed on a nine-months rotation.
This means that this shipment over Bremerhaven with German support will now be repeated every nine months?
If you assume that Germany serves as a hub and Germany willingly offers its services for it, then you can see that coming. A legitimate question is why the whole is not settled via Gdansk.
There were also demonstrations against this military operation.
Yes, but only locally in Bremerhaven. This is also a story which barely is perceived in the rest of the republic. There is a relatively small, and not detailed, report in the national media. And yet this is the largest military transfer from the USA to Europe since the end of the Cold War.
Does that mean the situation is more serious today than in the eighties?
No, of course not. I see this whole action from several points of view. Firstly, the Obama administration and its defense minister, Ashton Carter, are trying to put another stumbling block in the way of the coming president. Secondly, the German and European public are to be shown how dangerous the Russian Federation is and how it is a threat to neighboring countries, such as the Baltic States. The third point is that such actions are used to convince the public to spend more on the military. And depending on how the Russian Federation responds to this deployment, you may have a fourth argument which tells you, you see, we are only defending the Baltic States, but the Russians have immediately reacted and are building offensive forces here.
It is therefore assumed that Russia could enter the Baltic States?
Of course, they know very well that Russia is not planning that at all. This is part of the game. You imagine a threat that does not exist to justify more military presence and defense spending. You must also see the leading politicians, for example in the Baltic States, were all trained in the USA after the end of the Soviet Union. They have studied there and are influenced accordingly. They join in this game, of course, and tell their people that the evil Russians are threatening them. I can only refer to the ironical remark of the Russian President a few weeks ago when he said: “So you know that from Moscow to Vladivostok are 9,000 kilometers, we have other things to do than to incorporate the Baltic States.” •
Source: sputniknews.com/europe/201701121049529091-germany-europe-us-military/ from 11 January 2017
* Jochen Scholz was Lieutenant-Colonel of the German armed forces. As such, he served for several years with NATO in Brussels and then – during the NATO war against Yugoslavia – in the German Federal Defense Ministry. There he heard that the official speeches of the responsible politicians about blatant human rights violations by Serbia did not correspond with what he could see in the reports of the experts on the ground. Because of these lies of the politicians he left the SPD in 1999.
(Translation Sputniknews and Current Concerns)
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