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Getting NATO Back on Track

Summary:
France and Germany must heal their current defense rift, and America must maintain its security guarantee for Europe. One possible solution would be for Germany to spend more on European defense, thus providing a measure of the independence that France seeks, while keeping the US troops it wants. STANFORD – US President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Lloyd Austin, a recently retired four-star general, as Secretary of Defense is a further welcome sign that America has come to its senses and will, after January 20 next year, no longer seek to punish its friends and reward its enemies. To demonstrate this shift to the world, Biden should, immediately on taking office, rescind President Donald Trump’s order last July to withdraw

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France and Germany must heal their current defense rift, and America must maintain its security guarantee for Europe. One possible solution would be for Germany to spend more on European defense, thus providing a measure of the independence that France seeks, while keeping the US troops it wants.

STANFORD – US President-elect Joe Biden’s nomination of Lloyd Austin, a recently retired four-star general, as Secretary of Defense is a further welcome sign that America has come to its senses and will, after January 20 next year, no longer seek to punish its friends and reward its enemies. To demonstrate this shift to the world, Biden should, immediately on taking office, rescind President Donald Trump’s order last July to withdraw 12,000 US troops from Germany.

Without costing the US a penny, Biden would dramatically repudiate Trump’s isolationism and throw a wrench into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s divide-and-rule strategy in Europe. Reversing the troop withdrawal would also strengthen NATO, Germany, and Chancellor Angela Merkel – whose potential successor will be chosen in mid-January by her Christian Democratic Union (CDU) – as they battle Putin and homegrown anti-Western populists.

Trump claims that he wanted the US troops out because Germany was short-changing the NATO alliance on defense spending, compelling America to...

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