As the Trump administration reportedly considers the possible withdrawal of US troops from Germany, Germans have expressed their own views. Some 34,000 US soldiers are currently deployed at multiple bases across Germany, where NATO's Headquarters Allied Air Command (HQ AIRCOM) is situated, which controls the recently intensified air policing operations.
The latest poll conducted by YouGov for Deutsche Presse Agentur (DPA) has revealed that the notion of withdrawing US forces has more supporters than opponents. Some 42% of are in favor of the US withdrawing, while 37% oppose it. 21% of respondents remained undecided.
The poll also indicated that withdrawal is mostly endorsed by people who support The Left party (67%), Alternative for Germany (55%) and the Green party (48%). Supporters of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union were the least supportive of US troops withdrawing.
Earlier, media reported on allegedly leaked letters from Trump to Merkel in which he expressed "growing frustration" at the costs of maintaining the presence of US troops in Europe and the reluctance of European countries to increase their military spending. In June, media also reported that Washington is currently assessing the costs of keeping its forces in Europe.
US military bases were established in Germany after the Second World War, with some of them still there after a major reduction in 1990s. In 2015 some 97,000 Germans signed an online petition in support of withdrawing 42,000 US soldiers from the country in protest at the US doctrine of "perpetual war."