Germany has shown, with its welching on its commitment to spend 2% of its GDP on bolstering NATO, that it has no interest in Europe’s mutual defense. That, though, does not alter the threat to European security represented by Russia other than to increase it.
I’m reminded of a remark President Abraham Lincoln made about General George McClellan and the army the latter commanded: If McClellan does not want to use the army, I should like to borrow it a while. Since Germany isn’t interested in Europe’s defense, isn’t even interested in getting up a serious defense establishment of any sort (McClellan was strongly interested in this much), our forces are better placed elsewhere.
Enter Poland, which sits on the front line of the threat and has only just gotten out from under the Russian jackboot.
President Trump signed an agreement to send 1,000 additional US troops to Poland while treating his visiting Polish counterpart to a military flyover at the White House as thanks for a commitment to buy F-35 jet fighters.
Trump also suggested that those soldiers could come from the contingent—52,000 of them—currently based in Germany. After all, Germany isn’t using them.
This should only be a start, though. We need to be working toward a NATO-like mutual defense treaty that involves the eastern European nations, Great Britain, and us to work in parallel with, and perhaps eventually to supplant, NATO.