Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- US president Donald Trump has nominated retired United States Army colonel Douglas Macgregor to be the new ambassador to Germany. In the run up to the elections for president in November it underlines Trumps call for a reduction US military involvement worldwide.
“Colonel Macgregor is widely recognized as an expert on force design and grand strategy,” a statement from the White House said. “He is a frequent radio and television commentator on national security affairs and his writings on military affairs have been influential in the transformation of United States ground forces, NATO, and the Israeli Defense Force.”
Notably McGregor, whilst still a serving officer, published ‘breaking the phalanx’ urging army reform and later a noted article ‘Thoughts on Force Design in an Era of Shrinking Defense Budgets’.
Macgregor, who retired in 2004, is a frequent guest on Fox News. He has urged Trump to pull US troops out of Afghanistan and Syria.
If appointed, he would be in Germany during the withdrawal of 9,500 troops stationed in the country, which Trump recently approved.
His nomination requires approval by the Senate — it is not yet clear whether this process would happen before the US election in November.
His predecessor Richard Grenell’s time in Germany was marked by a difficult relationship with Berlin’s political elite, beginning from his arrival in 2018.
Known to be close to President Trump, he was outspoken, and often seen to be overstepping his remit and meddling in matters of German national policy, to the point where he seemed to be treating the EU’s most powerful state as an American satellite.
Grenell frequently pushed certain of Trump’s foreign policies during his two years in the position, including telling Germany to halt trading with Iran, criticizing the country’s defense contributions to NATO, and threatening companies involved in the Russian-German Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline with sanctions.
In May this year, when news leaked that he was leaving, Grenell tweeted that it did not mean the “pressure is off.” None the less the appointment of McGregor is likely to usher in a more respectful US relationship with Germany and Europe. If Trump is reelected, he will be able to conduct relations with Germany in a more dignified way.