Nearly half of Germans support withdrawal of US troops: survey
Nearly half of people in Germany are in favor of a US plan to withdraw nearly 12,000 of its troops from the European country, according to a representative survey by the research institute YouGov shared Tuesday.
Some 47% of survey respondents said they supported reducing the number of US soldiers in Germany. One in four was in favor of all US soldiers leaving.
Just 28% thought the number of US troops should remain the same and only 4% were in favor of increasing their numbers.
Another 21% declined to answer.
The YouGov online survey took place between July 31 and August 3, 2020 and was commissioned by German news agency dpa, who published the results.
Some 36,000 US troops are currently stationed in Germany.
Parliament largely opposed
US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper last week announced that his country would withdraw nearly 12,000 soldiers currently stationed in Germany.
Around 6,400 of them will go back to the US while another 5,600 will be relocated to other European NATO member states, Italy and Belgium in particular.
Of Germany's six parliamentary groups, five oppose US troops leaving Germany. Only the country's left-wing die Linke Party — which supports a complete withdrawal of all US troops — is in favor of the move.
Voters and politicians clash
Voter opinion, however, tended to differ from that of the parties they support.
People who generally vote for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU/CSU were largely against the troops leaving, with more than 40% opposed.
Among supporters of all other parties, the majority was in favor of the withdrawal, to varying degrees.