The Strangely Quiet Visit of Germany’s New Defense Minister
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer’s do-little trip to Washington shows the uncertain state of U.S.-German relations.
When a high-ranking official from one of America’s top allies visits Washington for the first time, the occasion is usually seen as a political home game for both sides. Assurances of mutual support and statements of solidarity are made, shared values and interests are emphasized, and the opportunity is seized to publicly showcase the successes of close cooperation. If all goes well, the visit will make national headlines in both countries.
Looking back with these expectations, one might rub their eyes in amazement to know that the new German defense minister even visited Washington, D.C., last week. And Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer — or AKK as she is commonly known — is notable not just as Germany’s six-weeks-on-the-job top defense official. She is closely watched back home as a likely successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel.