Foreign Policy

White House Cancels Trump’s Withdrawal From Germany

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

The Biden administration apparently had foreign policy on their mind today and for the first time in four years that does not fill me with dread.

The White House announced this morning that they're canceling Trump's cockamamie plan to withdraw American forces from Germany.

The announcement, from White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, came ahead of Biden’s visit to the State Department. The White House also said the U.S. would end support for Saudi Arabia’s military in the long-running war in Yemen in hopes of stopping one of world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Trump last year, despite congressional resistance, announced plans to redeploy about 9,500 of more than 34,000 U.S. troops from Germany.

Biden’s State Department visit is intended to underscore his promise to restore a multilateral approach to U.S. foreign policy and mark his administration’s reengagement with the international community.

Even if you are someone who generally believes that we have too many service members deployed around the world, Trump's half-assed plan for withdrawing troops from Germany would not have ultimately reduced our international footprint.

As you might recall, Trump's plan called for relocating troops from Germany to other countries, not bringing them home; at least not permanently. And that was perhaps the dumbest part of Trump's non-plan which called for building temporary housing for troops who would return home only to be redeployed once new overseas bases are established for them. We were going to spend money to build housing twice for the same soldiers who already have a home in Germany.

None of this made sense. It's so nonsensical I had trouble writing it in a way that is coherent.

Aside from the logistical stupidity of Trump's non-plan, we can also say with near certainty that he unilaterally announced the action without consulting the Pentagon first because he hates German Chancellor Angela Merkel and most of Europe in general. Withdrawing troops from Germany was just another cog in Trump's four-year personal grudge match against European leaders who never kissed his ring.

If we're going to alter our international presence, it should be done with care and for good reasons; not personal reasons.