Posts tagged ‘Germany’

04/09/2012

Germany: Let’s Close All U.S. Bases

For a long time since the end of World War II, 67 years ago, the Europeans, and in particular the Germans, have posed absolutely no threat to our national security, yet we continue to maintain 62 facilities in the fatherland that could be shut down. While 20 are scheduled for closure by 2015, the remaining 42 should also get the ax, since we do not need them, and can no longer afford them.

The 42 facilities, not currently slated for closure, (listed below) are in the states of Bavaria (13), Baden-Wurttemberg (8), Rhineland-Pfalz (17), Hesse (3) and North Rhine-Westphalia (1). The 20 set to close between 2012 and 2015 follow.

NOT SLATED TO BE CLOSED, BUT SHOULD BE:

ANSBACH (Bavaria) (8)
Army: Barton Barracks
Army: Bismarck Kaserne (the word means barracks)
Army: Katterbach Kaserne
Army: Shipton Kaserne
Army: Bleidorn Housing Area
Army: Urlas Housing and Shopping Complex
Army: Oberdachstetten Storage Area
Air Force: USAF Ansbach

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN (Bavaria) (1)
Army: Artillery Kasermne

HOHENFELS (Bavaria) (1)
Army: Hohenfels Training Area/Joint Multinational

ILLESHEIM (Bavaria) (1)
Army: Storck Barracks

VILSECK (Bavaria) (2)
Army: Rose Barracks
Army: Grafenwohr Training Area

BOBLINGEN (Baden-Wurttemberg) (1)
Marines: Camp Panzer Kaserne

HEIDELBERG (Baden-Wurttemberg) (1)
Army: Heidelberg Army Airfield

MANNHEIM (Baden-Wurttemberg) (1)
Army: Hammonds Barracks

STUTTGART (Baden-Wurttemberg) (5)
Army: Kelly Barracks
Army: Panzer Kaserne
Army: Patch Barracks
Army: Robinson Barracks
Army: Stuttgart Airport

BAUMHOLDER (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: Smith Barracks

DEXHEIM  (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: Anderson Barracks

GERMERSHEIM (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: Germersheim Army Depot

KAISERSLAUTERN (Rhineland-Pfalz) (5)
Army: Kaiserslautern Military Community
Army: Kleber Kaserne
Army: Pulaski Barracks
Army: Rhein Ordnance Barracks
Army: Semback Kaserne

LANDSTUHL (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: Landstuhl Regional Medical Center

MAINZ-GONSENHEIM MOMBACH (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: USAG (Garrison) Wiesbaden Military Training Area

MAINZ-FINTHEN AIRPORT (Rhineland-Pfalz) (2)
Army: USAG Wiesbaden Training Area
Army: USAG Wiesbaden Radar Station

MIESAU (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: Miesau Army Depot

PIRMASENS (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: Husterhoeh Koserne

RAMSTEIN (Rheinland-Pfalz) (1)
Air Force: Ramstein Air Base

SPANGHAHLEM (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Air Force: Spangdahlem Air Base

WACKERNHEIM (Rhineland-Pfalz) (1)
Army: McCully Barracks

GRIESHEIM (Hesse) (1)
Army: Dagger Complex Darmstadt Training Center

WIESBADEN (Hesse) (2)
Army: Wiesbaden Army Airfield
Army: Storage Station Mainz-Kastel (Weisbaden)

GEILENKIRCHEN (North Rhine-Westphalia) (1)
Air Force: NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen

SCHEDULED FOR CLOSURE:
BAMBERG (Bavaria) (2)
Army: Bamberg Local Training Area (2015)
Army: Warner Barracks (2015)

SCHWEINFURT (Bavaria) (5)
Army: Askren Manors Housing Area (2015)
Army: Conn Barracks (2015)
Army: Ledward Barracks (2015)
Army: Yorktown Housing Complex (2015)
Army: Rottershausen Storage Area

HEIDELBERG (Baden-Wurttemberg) (5)
Army: Patrick Henry Village (2014)
Army: Campbell Barracks (2015)
Army: Mark Twain Village (2015)
Army: Nachrichten Kaserne (2015)
Army: Patton Barracks (2015)

MANNHEIM (Baden-Wurttemberg) (5)
Army: Benjamin Franklin Village (2012)
Army: Funari Barracks (2012)
Army: Sullivan Barracks (2014)
Army: Coleman Barracks (2015)
Army: Spinelli Barracks (2015)

SCHWETZINGEN (Baden-Wurttemberg) (2)
Army: Kilourne Kaserne (2015)
Army: Tompkins Barracks (2015)

LAMPERTHEIM (Hesse) (1)
Army: Lampertheim Training Area (2015)

The German economy has benefited greatly from the large sums of U.S. dollars spent in their country since the end of WWII, but it is now time for the U.S. to get its own financial house in order, by withdrawing all of our remaining troops and closing all of our facilities.

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06/21/2011

European Union Needs More Power

Since 54% of the 483 million-member European Union (EU) come from Germany, France, Britain and Italy, too much is being made of the Euro Crisis, as only 2% of the EU population lives in Greece, 2% in Portugal, and less than 1% in Ireland. The Euro Crisis simply does not directly affect 95% of the European Union.

Britain, one of three to opt out of the Euro, with Denmark and Sweden, is now smirking on the sidelines and hyping the crisis, as the German Bank tries to craft bailouts for Greece, Portugal and Ireland. But British criticism of the Euro-zone is not the answer. The Euro instead needs more, not less power. What the UK could do to help and restore Euro confidence is to boldly abandon the Pound and adopt the Euro.

Here, in America, many are unable to follow the EU story, since the organization did not even exist when they were in school. The EU had its origins with the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) (1952), and the Common Market, also known as the European Economic Community (EEC) (1957). The EEC later became the European Community (EC) (1967), and finally the European Union (1992), which now has 27 member states.

The EU established an Economic and Monetary Union, which opened a European Central Bank in Frankfurt (1998), and circulated a Euro Currency (2002). Britain, Denmark and Sweden opted out of the Euro. The Central Bank controls Euro monetary policy and affects national spending, since Euro-zone states are now unable to print their own currencies and must make up for budget shortfalls by borrowing. The EU adopted a Stability and Growth Pact to limit national budget deficits, but Greece, Ireland and Portugal failed to comply. With no money to print, and none to borrow at reasonable rates, a crisis developed.

A European solution is not as easy as the one implemented in the U.S. during the recent financial crisis, where Congress and Federal Reserve Bank stopped things from spinning out of control. Although EU institutions look like those in the U.S., since they have an executive in Brussels (Commission and Council of Ministers), a 732-member Parliament in Strasbourg, and a Court of Justice, in Luxembourg, they are not as strong as their U.S. counterparts. The EU is not really a political union able to make its own decisions, but rather an organization which is dictated to by its 27 member states. The EU Parliament has no general lawmaking power and cannot tax and spend. All the EU can do is issue directives to member states and ask national governments to implement EU policy.

Some say the EU will never become the USA of Europe, but it’s just a matter of time. It took the U.S. 172 years to assemble 50 states in one union across North America, and it will take many years to complete the European Union picture.

For now, instead of Britain, Denmark and Sweden resisting the Euro currency, as they have in the past, they should courageously convert to it and give the EU more power. All 27 member-states should grant their EU institutions the authority they need to keep their currency strong, so they can correct the budgetary problems in the member states, such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

05/25/2011

Palestinian State Must Be Contiguous

To create a lasting peace for Israel, any new Palestinian state must be established as a single territorial unit, meaning the borders must be contiguous. The two parts of Palestine (Gaza and West Bank) must have land-based link, which must be clearly included in any “land swaps” that will define the ultimate borders.

The Palestinian Corridor should be from Beit Hanoun, in the Gaza Strip (northeast), to Dura, in the West Bank (southwest). It should include a high-speed rail link, with no stops in between, so Israel will have no security reason to stop or interrupt service. The corridor should include a 2-lane highway on each side of railway.

The world has previously made the mistake of physically dividing peoples and nations, in situations that have led to war.

Britain made a mistake when they created Pakistan, by locating the western part on one side of India, and the eastern half, 900 miles away, on the other side (1947). The distance between the two parts made Pakistan unmanageable, and caused East Pakistan to secede. Although an independent state of Bangladesh emerged, it was not until after Britain’s error first took the lives of millions in the Pakistan Civil War and Indo-Pakistan War (1971).

The allies made a mistake after WWI (1919), when they separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany, and transferred to Poland some German-speaking territories, near the Danzig Corridor. The lack of a sovereign connection between the two parts of Germany gave hardliners like Hitler a platform, upon which to rationalize an invasion of Poland in WWII, in which millions died.

The allies again made an error after WWII (1945), when they divided Berlin, located entirely in the Soviet Zone, into four sectors, occupied by the U.S., Britain, France, and Russia (1945). The only way the U.S., Britain or France could access their parts of Berlin, was to travel through the Russian Sector. When the Soviets cut off the highway to Berlin (1948), war was narrowly avoided, as the U.S. landed one supply plane with food every minute, for 318 days straight, to finally break the blockade.

It would be a mistake to create a new Palestinian state with Gaza and the West Bank physically separated by Israel. To prevent future roadblocks and conflict, any peace agreement must make the two parts contiguous, by creating a permanent and irrevocable easement between them, known as the Palestinian Corridor.

03/23/2011

Egypt: Libyan Rebels Need Your Tanks

A recent UN Resolution authorized intervention in Libya to protect the civilian population from Qaddafi. Since Qaddafi is an ongoing threat to those in the civilian population who oppose him, the only way to protect the people is to remove Qaddafi.

While the western states appear to willing to use air power to protect Libyan civilians, this alone will not work. The conflict will not end, until Qaddafi is removed, and that will not occur, until a well-equipped land force closes in on Tripoli.

We must start with the reality that Qaddafi will not step down peacefully. He has nowhere to go. He has the ability to remain, because he has oil money. He can purchase military materiel and keep his troops well paid. They will fight the rebels as long and as hard as they can, as their futures are tied to Qaddafi’s.

Force must be used. While targets have already been destroyed from the air, Qaddafi is one step ahead of the attacks. He has been through this before. U.S. planes bombed his residence in 1986 in a failed attempt to assassinate him. For over 25 years, Qaddafi has been looking over his shoulder. He has had time to think about the next bombing campaign. He will not be taken out by air.

The removal of Qaddafi must come on the ground. But who will use troops? The rebels themselves obviously must take the lead, but they are ill-equipped. Who will provide military hardware?

Qatar offered troops to fight Qaddafi, but this was not out of a desire to support democracy. It was instead because they have a monarchy and Qaddafi came to power in 1969 by overthrowing a king. Qatar’s motives are suspect. Their offer should be rejected.

France has a history of fighting Qaddafi. In Libya’s war against the former French colony of Chad (1980s), they sent in troops and planes. Qaddafi would however accuse France of neo-colonialism and the French should not put their boots on the ground.

Italy, Germany and Britain also have military experience in Libya, dating back to World War II. While U.S. troops advanced eastward from Morocco through Algeria into Tunisia, the English 8th Army won the battle at El Alamein in Egypt in 1942 and drove Irwin Rommel, the Desert Fox, and his German and Italian forces, westward through Libya also into Tunisia.

Italy and Germany will not get involved now. Italy has a colonial history in Libya, and if they used troops, Libyans would unite against them. Germany will also stay out. They abstained from the UN Res. and oppose even air strikes, let alone ground forces. With regards to Britain, they have a colonial history in Egypt and would be unable to mount an offensive from Egyptian soil.

This leads us to Egypt. The Egyptian people should identify with the Libyan rebels, as they just got rid of Hosni Mubarak, who ruled for 30 years. Egypt does not have a monarch. They forced their king to abdicate in 1952. Egypt shares the same Sunni Muslim religion with Libya. They could not be accused of conducting a Crusade. They have 79 million people, as compared to only 6.3 million Libyans, and could assemble a volunteer army large enough to help the rebels.

Egypt has military hardware, including tanks, as they are the largest recipient of U.S. aid (after Israel). The Egyptians should drive their tanks to the Libyan border and allow the Libyan rebels to reflag them, using the traditional Libyan symbol. They should then slowly drive the tanks from east to west, along 1,000 miles of Mediterranean coast, past Benghazi, where they would be greeted with support, and on to the shores of Tripoli, for a showdown with Qaddafi. With the barrel of an Egyptian tank pointed at his front door, my guess is Qaddafi would finally step down.