Hope has returned to Grafenfor in German Bavaria, whose fate is linked to the largest US military base in Europe since Joe Biden was elected President of the United States.
And American soldiers believe in the continuation of economic activity in the city that has adapted to their needs, such as the street adjacent to their base, where tattoo-striking shops and American-style hair salons have proliferated since the end of World War II.
The number of American soldiers at the aforementioned base and throughout Germany has decreased from 200,000 in 1990 to 34,500 now.
The city has been aware of this threat for years, but the announcement by the administration of US President Donald Trump to withdraw 12,000 soldiers from Germany, including five thousand from Grafenfor and the neighboring town of Vilsik, caused a shock.
Conservative mayor Edgar Knobloch says, “Reducing the number of American forces will have dire economic consequences.”
He added, “Al-Qaeda provides work for more than 3 thousand civilians in the city, and the military spends about 660 million euros annually in the form of wages and private consumption.”
Since the announcement of Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s victory last November, the decision to withdraw the US military has been suspended pending a new study by the Defense Department, allowing the city to breathe a sigh of relief.
Many residents of the city believe that this is also in the interest of the Americans, who have invested a lot in recent years to modernize the base, which sends the soldiers deployed there on missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to the fact that the armies of NATO member states conduct regular training there.