Germany Breaks Tradition, Announcing Permanent Troop Deployment in Post-War Era

Germany and Lithuania have officially entered into a groundbreaking agreement, marking Germany’s first permanent foreign troop deployment since World War II. 

The formal announcement came on Monday in Lithuania, following a meeting between Lithuanian Defense Minister Arvydas Anusauskas and his German counterpart, Boris Pistorius.

The comprehensive “Roadmap Action Plan” outlines the deployment of approximately 4,800 permanently stationed German soldiers, a move hailed as a historical moment not only for both nations but also for NATO. 

The troops, including families, will be stationed in the Lithuanian cities of Kaunas and Vilnius, beginning in 2024. 

The majority of troops are expected to be deployed in 2025 and 2026, with full operational capability anticipated by 2027. 

Lithuania, in turn, has committed to providing all necessary civilian and military infrastructure.

The agreement, initially announced in June without a specified timeline, has now taken a significant step forward. 

According to Anusauskas, “The German commitment of permanently stationing a brigade in Lithuania is a historical step for both Germany and Lithuania,” marking a deeper strategic partnership.

Pistorius emphasized the importance of the move in the context of the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, especially given Lithuania’s proximity to the latter. 

He stated, “Germany understands clearly the new state of affairs in security politics: we are taking the role of leadership and responsibility in the [NATO] Alliance.”

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Germany, Lithuania Unveil Joint Deployment and Funding Plan

Germany and Lithuania have officially entered into a groundbreaking agreement, marking Germany’s first permanent foreign troop deployment since World War II.

The plan, formulated by experts within both defense ministries, designates the Rūdninkai military training ground as the primary location for most German troops. 

Additionally, logistical hubs will support the new brigade, which includes three maneuver battalions, combat support, and supply units.

Lithuania’s commitment involves transforming its Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion Battle Group into a multinational battalion, becoming an integral part of the German brigade. 

Lawmaker Laurynas Kasciunas, head of the parliamentary National Security and Defense Committee, announced that Lithuania will allocate 0.3 percent of its gross domestic product over the next several years to fund the deployment, necessitating potential tax increases.

Pistorius drew parallels between the agreement and the Cold War stationing of allied forces in West Germany. 

He highlighted the importance of Germany’s duty to protect the eastern flank in the face of evolving security realities.

“The speed of the project clearly shows that Germany understood the new security reality,” Pistorius said. 

He assured that German soldiers and their families relocating to Lithuania would enjoy attractive conditions, including German-language schools, kindergartens, housing, and flight connections.

Anusauskas underscored the role of Russia’s aggression in Ukraine as a driving force behind the agreement, stating, “Russia remains the main threat to us and NATO.” 

Notably, this deployment follows Germany’s withdrawal of forces from Afghanistan in January 2022, demonstrating its continued commitment to international security.

Newsweek has reached out to both nations’ defense ministries and NATO for further comment on this significant development.

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