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Britain to remove troops from Germany by 2020

The Local · 19 Oct 2010, 18:03

Published: 19 Oct 2010 18:03 GMT+02:00

"In terms of the return from Germany, half our personnel should be back by 2015 and the remainder by 2020," he told parliament as he announced a widespread shake-up of the military and significant cuts to its budget.

Britain and the United States stationed troops in Germany in the aftermath of World War II as a visible show of support for their NATO ally, and Britain currently has about 20,000 military personnel based there.

"The presence of the British military has played an important role in demonstrating Alliance solidarity, and has also been a symbol of steadfast UK-German friendship," the strategic defence and security review said.

"But there is no longer any operational requirement for UK forces to be based there, and the current arrangements impose financial costs on the UK, disruption on personnel and their families and opportunity costs in terms of wider army coherence."

Some of the returning troops could be housed in the three Royal Air Force bases to be closed under the defence review, which is being implemented along with cuts to the defence ministry budget of eight percent. British forces in Germany are predominately stationed in the northwest of the country in Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia.

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But the review said Britain would retain its permanent joint operating bases in Gibraltar, Cyprus and the Falklands Islands among other locations. British troops will also continue to train in Canada, Kenya and Brunei.

AFP/The Local/mry

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

19:06 October 19, 2010 by MichaelMolenaar
About time.
19:17 October 19, 2010 by William Thirteen
they fall for it every time!
23:45 October 19, 2010 by maxbrando
It is truly about time. But, I doubt the Germans will like it. After all, they are really defenseless then, having cut their forces to the joke level. The secret squacking about the Americans LEAVING Germany will rise to unbearable levels. Who will protect you then?? The Russians get the Germans next. The USA is done with them.
03:04 October 20, 2010 by ngwanem
@maxbrando: in which era are you still living? oh wait! i can guess u r in an underground basement, stockpiled with food and in fearful trepidation of the advancing Reds...

c'mon it amuses me everyday to see grownup men still childishly think of human existence as a battle scene with rights against wrongs, the west against the east, reds against the blues (oh! i forgot the mass brainwashing of the minds by our hollywood priests)...

If the world had enough people like you, then either we would all be freezing in our nasement bunkers or sleeping in dirty mud trenches, while the politicians who sent us to war would be enjoying nice evenings in their fortresses...
04:26 October 20, 2010 by Eagle1
Works for me. Time for Germany to protect itself again. It's had 75 years to save cash on military expenditures. At the rate things are going, it will be unable to stop its being renamed "New Turkey" shortly.
08:46 October 20, 2010 by toemag
This will come as a blow to the local economy of garrison towns, as there is/was a support industry that thrived off of the Soldiers stationed there. Anything from the local bars to the mojo's who drove the white elephants, or did the pan bash in the different cook houses.

To be honest, as the wall came down and reunification happened I was still serving the Queen and country and thought great in another 5 - 10 years (if I'm still in) they'll have handed everything over to the Germans and we will be back in the UK.What took them so long???
08:51 October 20, 2010 by Tazmon
After reading the above comments it is clear to see that most of you people have no clue about what you are typing, maybe it would be a good idea to do a little bit of research before you make yourselves look foolish and ignorant.
09:02 October 20, 2010 by storymann
The need for foreign troops as a deterrent to aggression here ended with the end of the cold war.. Most US facilities are for other purposes in other places.The air base at Rhein Main serves as a triage for wounded Americans in Afghanistan.

At the end of WW2 Germany entered it's "Pacifist Era" with emphasis on Economics and de-emphasis on the Military leaving the "Winners" as protectors of the worlds 3rd largest economy before China bumped them to 4th. Now that Germany is stepping up to the plate its time to go.
09:04 October 20, 2010 by Kayak
@Tazmon - Oh, shutup!

Alternatively, given you're the self-proclaimed insight, can you please share it with us?
09:24 October 20, 2010 by imu2006
Maybe you are all forgetting how dependant the rural German community on the Euros of the British Forces. There is probably no longer an operational need but the local communities around these garrisons are going to feel the pinch. Also what about all the german Civilian personnel that work at these garrisons in 2015 and again in 2020 there is going to be a massive influx of people that are now unemployed. All this talk of the war is wrong. Britain and America stayed firstly to restabilise Germany, secondly as a protective front against the russionas and after that as a base of force to interven in other conflicts. Yes the Brits should leave but please think about the effect this will have on the communities around the garrisons and there economies before you spout off.
09:34 October 20, 2010 by Celeon
Thats basically an economic problem for the region. Defence?

Oh come on.

Sometimes its really funny how brits think their tiny 20k garrison is still doing major politics on the continent. The strategically value of their presence ceased to exist about 20 years ago.

The only thing useful they do today is going to the local hairdresser, eating at the restaurants ,going to the movies. Thats the only thing they have left to do for Germany.

A whole regional economy surrounds their mere presence. The only thing they do for the UK these days, is costing its tax payers a hell lot of pounds.

The other problem thats facing some the british troops themselves now is the fact that some of them live in Germany for so long , they call it their home.

I know that problem from some of the higher ranking u.s army officers in Grafenwöhr with some of them living in Germany for more than 20 years. They have most of their friends here, a house , their children were born here.

For their families it would be a very bad thing to suddenly get called "home"

Many of them would say "I am already at home"
09:34 October 20, 2010 by LarryLaffer
Nothing against they leave, but please let my favorite radio station BFBS stay!
09:35 October 20, 2010 by Legal E
I remember when the RAF left RAF Wildenwrath. The locals were jubliant, but then after they left the realisation set in of the loss of the local economy. This way with plenty of notice the local government can (hopefully) put in a sucession plan. i.e. re-use the space for local business start ups and not just leave it bare.
10:43 October 20, 2010 by moistvelvet
Well it is about time they moved back to the UK, it makes perfect economical and strategic sense. Ok so local communities will suffer, locally employed civlians will lose their jobs (note not all are German), but c'mon they've been milking the British mad ca$h cow for years and any nostalgic teary eyed view that the British tax payer should continue to fill German steuer koffers is ignorant of reality and short sighted.

Just to make it clear, half of the troops will be back in the UK by 2015, that means either Hohne or Paderborn garrison will close by then, not half of each as some politicians and LECs believe. Some people should pull their head out of the clouds and realise that this is happening, time to find a real job, they've had a good innings.

Must give credit to where it is due though, BFBS presenters sound positively cheery this morning despite the revelation that their studio mic is on a timer.
11:43 October 20, 2010 by twirl
This kinda sucks, I live on JHQ and its my home, and I don't want to leave.
12:02 October 20, 2010 by moistvelvet
Wasn't JHQ effectively gone regardless of this announcement, so why the surprise? If you like it that much then stay and buy one of the surplus quarters, of course you might decide that a job is more important and move elsewhere.
16:30 October 22, 2010 by Subroto Sarkar
I am shocked to read about German's frustration. Are you all the Germans whom once everybody was afraid off respected for your courage a valiant your brain power your administrative capability your scientific brain storms. Are you the descendants of the same people who boasted themselves as Aryans, It is a shame for you Germans. Wake up pleases forget the episodes for which you were cursed abused bullied and suppressed. Show the world that you can look after yourselves. Prov the scared world of allies that history will not repeat but Germany will prove its greatness once again to the world. Wake up Germans we are waiting to see you rise and take your deserved respect from the world community.
22:40 October 22, 2010 by DrGideonPolya
The Russians, who suffered about 20 million dead in World War 2, removed their forces from Germany about 20 years ago. It is therefore high time that the British leave Germany.

The English have been invading and occupying other countries for a thousand years, starting with Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Cornwall. It is high time they stopped this violent, genocidal behaviour.

Yet in the 21st century the UK helped the US invade and occupy Iraq (violent deaths and non-violent excess deaths from deprivation 4.4 million, 1990-2010) and Afghanistan ( violent deaths and non-violent excess deaths from deprivation 4.9 million, 2001-2010).

Occupation by the UK of other countries in the post-war era has been deadly as measured by avoidable deaths (excess deeaths, death sthat did not have to happen). Thus 1950-2005 excess deaths in countries occupied by

UK forces in the post-1945 era (excluding Germany and Japan) now total 727 million or about 20 times the carnage inflicted by Nazi Germany in the period 1939-1945 (circa 35 million dead) (for details see my book "Body Count. Global avoidable mortality since 1950).

Britain (as well as NATO, Apartheid Australia and NATO) should be forced to leave devastated Occupied Afghanistan (post-invasion excess deaths 4.9 million as compared to 5-6 million Jews killed by the Nazis) ) by comprehensive international Sanctions and Boycotts.
13:51 September 23, 2011 by ryan.b2011
I think its great that all the british forces are moving out of germany but im in year 10 and moving into year 11 next year and i could be moving oput of germany halfway trough my gsces and thats not good and plus all of the other kids around germany. thats not all kids from germany have got used to private schools and if they move to england and go to public school it will be such much diffrent and harder.
22:08 December 13, 2012 by heddois
DrGideon, what ridiculous claims and numbers! In any case, I'm fairly sure the English/Saxons came from Germany in the first place.
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