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tv   Inside Story 2020 Ep 160  Al Jazeera  June 9, 2020 2:32pm-3:01pm +03

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great great people and they've done jobs that are record setting records earning and israeli settler convicted of murdering 3 members of a palestinian family and 2015 will shortly be sentenced by an israeli court. then he was convicted of 3 counts of murder 2 counts of attempted murder and 2 counts of acid he threw a follow bomb into the home of the family killing a married couple and their infant son their eldest son who was 4 years old at the time was the only survivor of libya's national oil corporation says an armed force which it did not identify has entered an oil field in the south and demanded workers shut it down the company says it's told employees not to obey those orders . those are the headlines more news here on al-jazeera after inside story.
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why is the u.s. pulling troops from germany they've been stationed there since the end of world war 2 and now donald trump is about to cost that number by more than a quarter but why now and should u.s. allies and nato be concerned this is inside story. that welcome to the program i'm laura brennan there are a legacy of world war 2 a symbol of u.s. commitment to protecting its european allies u.s. military forces stationed in germany are reportedly going to be shot be reduced
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present donald trump plans to pull out 9500 american soldiers by september reducing the number 225000 troops will either be redeployed elsewhere or sent home it's being seen as the latest twist in relations between washington and in tensions between the 2 sides have been strained over a number of disagreements but defense spending has been of particular concern for donald trump he's repeatedly pressed germany to increase its military budget chris sized nato allies for relying on the u.s. to shoulder the cost of maintaining the alliance. well a spokesman for the u.s. national security council john only yacht issued a statement on friday neither confirmed nor denied chance withdrawal of troops saying why we have no announcements at this time as commander in chief president john continually reassess is the best posture for the united states military forces and our presence overseas the united states remains committed to working with our strong ally germany to ensure our mutual defense as well as on many other important
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issues on german foreign minister heiko mass says it will take note of donald trump's plan in an interview with the build sontag newspaper on sunday he said we appreciate the cooperation with the u.s. armed forces that has grown over decades it is in the interests of both our countries we are partners in the transatlantic alliance but it's complicated germany hosts the largest number of u.s. forces in europe followed by italy and the u.k. and the u.s. army was almost 2000000 strong on the continent at the end of world war 2 in 1905 that number was brought down significantly 4 years later it was boosted again to more than 400000 military personnel in 1962 as the cold war with the soviet union grew but it was slashed by 2 thirds after the fall of the berlin wall those stationed in germany were gradually reduced over the years but the country has
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remained a crucial military hub for the u.s. it's where the headquarters for u.s. forces in europe and africa based and it hosts an air base from which soldiers and equipment are transferred to iraq and afghanistan. thank you well let's bring in our guests now and joining us from walpole massachusetts is andrew bass of it a u.s. military historian and president of the quincy institute for responsible state craft from lynn is only a political analyst and professor in european studies at stanford university berlin and from moscow we have pavel felgenhauer a journalist and defense analyst thank you all very much for joining us here today only if i could start by getting some reaction there from germany we've had the foreign minister saying we're close partners in the transatlantic alliance but it's complicated in those words say so much don't they what is the prevailing response of this move. well it is not. a spectacular situation
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we are talking about 9500 troops and as you said in the beginning we saw 6 digits of troops being stationed in germany and we saw the numbers go and don't have the numbers are growing up again after crimea i would not put too much weight on this particular announcement of the decision we still have to wait if it ever happens or it's just the threat because last year we heard something similar of from the american ambassador that the numbers of american troops will go down but the political burden. keeps it low key as you quote the foreign minister it is complicated but not because of this announcement this is the development of a long term trend and we see many more serious developments in the transatlantic relationship that gives reason to be concerned and you one thing that only said
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it's quite kay is it will have to wait and see if this actually happens i mean you said in the past that trump is a president who tends to act on impulse ways we've as yet had no official statement from the white house do you think it's actually going to go ahead with this troop drawdown from germany. i think it's impossible to say. he does like to make headline grabbing announcements. if there's any purpose in those announcements i think it is that he's playing to his domestic political base we have to remember that a presidential election is right around the corner he had promised to end endless wars to reduce our u.s. military commitments he really hasn't delivered on that so this could simply be a way. of reminding his supporters of his intentions even if he doesn't really deliver and doesn't play well to his political base i mean it's at
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best just shifting troops around isn't it i mean it's not ending all withdrawing from many was well i'm not sure i'm not part of his political base 1st of all not sure if i'm i'm quite in a position to interpret the mindset in the trump camp but i would say that it does not appear that that in that world there is a very serious and thoughtful understanding of how the world is changing from a security perspective and therefore how the u.s. posture globally ought to change what there is and this is what trump place too is a sense that we have the nation united states has borne too large a burden for too long a period of time and now it's time for others to share some of that burden he
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consistently makes that point and again i suspect that in the pro trump camp that that plays well but how significant a move is this being seen that in moscow. well it's has the an essential kind of pillar but russian foreign policy since the end of the 2nd world war it's a big attempt to get the americans out of here. to weaken as much as possible the transatlantic connection and german the us are receding as the send sure to find there is neutralize germany but of the breach between moscow and vera wang and that actually more west secures the russian prime as it seemed and still seeing right now in moscow and as the west turned for
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western direction the problem namely and russia. and there so this. worsening not mother worse than a seemingly. rationed germany and united states is always welcome or dull militarily must live this even that is the base drop comes through and it won't be militarily that significant and at times mean need be some of the troops if they are mowed down germany probably will be just closer to russia say and go and when germany there essentially very little contact troops its reader area it's just consider important very important just explodes. but so this is seen more as a political move. he has done a lot on your mind american relations with its european allies and our and
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so that's basically good and and it just does not feed this thing when you have from the russians that they like this they like antagonism the arguments the in-fighting they not see that there is only benefits russia i doubt if he cares. i think one of the most important things to appreciate president trump is that. he's not a strategist he doesn't think really in g a political terms he certainly doesn't reflect on how the global order might be changing and therefore how u.s. policy should adapt he at this point is thinking about the november presidential election. and trying to. facilitate his reelection i mean in many respects although his base remains loyal
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in many respects his presidency has not been a success if we factor in the. deaths here in the united states caused by the coronavirus pandemic if we look at the overall condition of the economy enormous numbers of people who are unemployed and again if we look at his failure to make good on his promises to end endless wars and a simple issue here is not simply the u.s. military presence in. europe but also afghanistan and the middle east it's really not a very impressive record so my guess is preoccupied with the coming election he is making these gestures and that's all they are these gestures to try to make it possible for him to argue as he consistently does that he is a successful president and therefore deserving of
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a 2nd term ok so really if trump does not care enough to maintain good relationships with europe with gemini and with nato how essential is that transatlantic alliance and can gemini instead look more within europe to strengthen nato over germany the transatlantic relationship is by far the most important one and everyone across the board in the german carbon spectrum sees it that way and therefore what we saw with the announcement of what's going through is of course another step in what mohs describes as a complicated relationship but it's certainly not the problem the problem is that it's the core components of the transatlantic relationship mutual trust the rule of law a western understanding of what is democracy. the core principles and values and what directions of in developing nato all these things have been put under enormous
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stress with announcements that don't really speak the language of partnership but draw the that the largest act in the group gives clear come ons and it's expected that the others followed in some sort of a locked in the chance and this is not exactly a partnership and that gives reasons to concerns and i guess that is also part of the reason why america announced that she's not willing to come to washington that she sounds on it and as a form of revenge we see no announcement of that conduit i must remember must mean that there are voices within germany on the left wing side of the political divide who actually welcomed this announcement why is that. germany has always been seen within europe has the country that tries to understand russia and when we go for they used for home countries on the eastern side of the iron curve they are
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much much more concerned about anything that is send as a signal from russia we also have sharp criticism from the u.k. and certain forms of sensitivity in. that spectrum in france when it comes to relations with russia and germany there have always been voices that thought of wouldn't it be a strategic idea to incorporate russia and to have better relations with nato and to try to find compromises and not as harsh we impose sanctions and as on has russian doesn't show any commitment to move beyond what we have with the means agreement and we should state what is what we decided after the occupation of crimea have a one of a time space for germany with merkel is that it's too reliant on russia for a natural gas that it's in a sense controlled by moscow is it well that jazzy here has being quite
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a contentious one and a little course the trumpet ministration has been trying to stop the. truly not your ration the new trans politic northern route or russian gas isn't there germany. that is mates germany is a russia when america spending treasurer on maintaining nato and russia and that this is not right of course the same arguments that happened during the cold war when century that reversed russian gas pipelines are built into german at present there's some of it present. as exact natural gas is actually so well that that russia does not need this northern stream thing and we have already 2 main pipes go you know you are not there not. actually the desire for
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more gas inside you are but in the world around us germany will depend more german the case now its nuclear and ok this is the production that will need more gas and the gas will most likely come from russia though course there are other places there's states there's middle east there's a lot of places where gas may be shipped so yes but it's not that. russia i mean russia needs europe and germany so it's because the county didn't rush sound like another place so it's a. year that europe and germany so much depends on russia it's an interdependent so . between the buyer and the seller it doesn't mean that germany because it's buying russian becomes that russian column ok and i want to look at the significance of nato in germany you spent 2 tours in west germany to contain the former
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u.s.s.r. does a military presence that today continue to deter a russian advance so that was a long time ago and in another era we were deterring the soviet union which no longer exists i have to say although i have no sympathy for president trump in a general sense and i think that this announcement of the troop cuts was typically ham handed and not coordinated in advance. i do sympathize with the notion that it's time for europe to assume responsibility for its own security the conditions that existed when nato was created in 1049 no longer exist just as a soviet union no longer exists so in my estimation europe is fully capable
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of defending itself no i don't not for a 2nd of my suggesting that therefore we should just you know pull out tomorrow but i think there is a need for a serious process of beginning to shift responsibility. for defending europe to europeans and and shifting not immediately withdrawing shifting responsibility away from the united states it were were but 75 years since the end of world war 2. and and frankly the united states is overcommitted. you are aware of our. very difficult domestic challenges right now we need to fix our own country and to some degree that means paying somewhat less attention to parts of the world like europe and i phrase it carefully
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i'm not trying to suggest isolationism we're done with the world but there is a need for the united states to reassess its priorities ok well the time might be right that's just the cost back a few 1000000 few months ago when nato secretary general was confident that the u.s. would not reduce its presence in europe and this is what he had to say in january. we see questions being asked about the states all the time something called the bullet in north america and europe. we see that on both the science of the atlantic but the same time we see that north america and europe could do more to get the damage done for many many years do not distances not leaving your affectionate distances increasing their presence in the europe with more troops more forces more exercises and new pinata so stepping up. increasing the gist of the forces and investing more in our shared secured it is only with such mixed messages coming
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out of the white house is under right is it time for a change that time figure out to take cat more for its own security i totally agree with what he said we are in a different era and global security is very different from what it used to be in times of the cold war but what we're talking about today is not either the united states is present in europe or it's not you're talking about a small portion of the american presence as i had taken back to the united states or moved farther east to poland so germany is not less protected or anything it's also not that europe cannot afford it we are reshuffling the responsibilities over a longer period of time it's not just that you press a button and the german defense budget increases up to 2 percent of its g.d.p. this is an enormous amount of money and in times like cost coronato there are many
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more urgent things that need to be addressed buying more fighter planes pavol how might russia capitalize as we're having this discussion about the future of nato about how much the u.s. is involved about even what nato means how can russia capsulize on this in fighting. i would have said that some are less kind there are some in russia a century rest see more. different problems and this course and in the western alliance but there's not there's another part there it's there is the in your internal russian squabbles and discussions within the russian government where russia right now is also who has thrown the right wrist has an economic crisis has that a budget crisis something there are
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a lot of dense fighting within the russian government are not aware of the priorities should be the nomic so will book from the russian government wants to cut defense spending too and so forth the defense ministry and the fence industry and everything else connected to that box for the van to condemn continue to for 3 nato and the united states as aggressive we intend that and the terrible threat poles there are in the west well that's essential so that means the joy is good but i don't think that moscow is going to be right now russian propaganda is going to be pressing that were because both are one to say that nature is terrible nate that was aggressor and they want to come and that's another part of the turn no russian take on this situation right ok and just lastly i mean
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they had to have always said that they could survive one tribe president saying the question is can he alliance survive to. well of course i don't know. and i hope that there will not be a 2nd trump administration but you're right if there is if you went he will be further emboldened. he will. be and reelection will affirm in his mind and in in those of his followers that he's on the right course and therefore one can imagine not predicting but one can imagine that that would then worsen relations between united states and europe with regard to security early what then nato is parties be at this juncture when i think it would be naive to believe that if we do not see a 2nd trump administration after november then things go all the fine because of
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what i said earlier every american who is gratian reminded europe and germany in particular that we should do more and care act together and do more in terms of urge sharing and so this will be on the agenda and remain on the agenda but a nato also has to think of what is their future role what is the long term plan it was counted in times of the cold war and ever since nato was looking for a mission it tripe several things and it is still kind of a constructions i think has to be find its huge emission ok well that we will leave it for today many thanks to all our guests for joining us andrew bass of edge an e-book that and pavel felgenhauer. and thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website dot com gushing digger's well facebook page that's facebook dot com full slash a.j.
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inside story you know join the conversation on twitter handle is a.j. inside story from me laura brown and the whole team here it's by. june on on tuesday 3 years into the blockade we look at the future of the g.c.c. crisis in part on life and part of people in power is back with more investigative documentaries and into stories as the world bank is the one upon them in algiers
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iraq brings you the latest from around the world a new 2 part investigation asks whether water should be a free natural resource or commodity traded for profit as protesters take to the streets in the country back to school but 19 condoning trump survive these historic challenges. you on al-jazeera. rewind a care bring your people back to life i'm sorry i walked out on the best of al-jazeera documentaries the struggle continues for you to knock out or use distance rewind continues with australia's lost generation of recovery from call on is a really important issue suicide rights do or mine very hard was still twice the national average rewind on al-jazeera. when you're from a neighborhood known as
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