Grenell Leaves – But All the Problems Remain
Germany will have to re-think its U.S. policy, even without Trump, writes GMF’s Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff in Der Hauptstadtbrief.
The U.S. ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, is leaving Berlin but transatlantic relations remain deeply troubled, writes Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff. Grenell’s railing “made it impossible for Germany to overlook how far it moved away from the United States,” he says. Grenell had a point when he called out the German government on its defense spending, its energy policy and naivete towards China, writes Kleine-Brockhoff.
And yet Grenell failed to make a lasting impact on German policy. The increase in defense spending, Kleine-Brockhoff argues, was due to changing geopolitical circumstances, not Grenell’s pressure.
Germany’s political elite might be tempted to think that, with Grenell gone, things will go back to normal. In reality, even if Joe Biden wins the presidential race, transatlantic relations are likely to remain fraught. Kleine-Brockhoff calls on Germany to end its foreign policy complacency. “Germany has to learn to listen again, to make compromise and to take U.S. security concerns seriously,” he concludes.