Elizabeth Boyle, Staff
With the recent inauguration of President Biden, the United States has seen many changes implemented very quickly. President Biden has been prioritizing a change in U. S. international relations. One way President Biden has shown this is through his appointment of the new U. S. Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin. Since Austin has taken office, he has been communicating with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and trying to strengthen the U.S. bond with the organization.
A significant shift with NATO left behind from the Trump administration was the removal of U.S. military personnel from Germany. President Trump wanted to pull out over ten thousand troops from Germany. The U.S. has twenty-one bases in Germany including ones in Ansbach, Bamberg, and Grafenwoehr. The U.S. also has the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center which is the largest American hospital outside of the country. Two elements of President Trump’s motivation for this decision to remove U.S. personnel were his frustration with NATO countries, including Germany, not applying their agreed upon 2% of GNP to defense spending and his disagreements with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. During his time in office, President Trump was very vocal about his dispute with NATO and made claims that NATO countries were not giving the amount of money to military spending that was previously agreed upon.
President Biden has recently stopped the withdrawal of nearly twelve thousand troops from various bases in Germany. This essentially reverses President Trump’s plans for action against NATO. Presidents Biden’s actions demonstrate his plans to improve the U.S.’s relationship with NATO. It looks as though he is using his actions with the military to back up the communication he has had with NATO. It also shows that he is making an effort to stay true to the goals of his campaign, such as enhancing relationships with traditional allies.
Now that U.S. troops will be staying in Germany, the U.S. will be able to watch as the country moves out of a semi-isolated position and potentially has more communication and agreements internationally, especially with long-term allies.