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Trump picks retired army colonel as next US ambassador to Germany

Jill Petzinger
·Germany Correspondent, Yahoo Finance UK
·2-min read
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 27:  U.S. President Donald Trump walks on the South Lawn after he landing aboard Marine One at the White House July 27, 2020 in Washington, DC. Trump was returning from a visit to the FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies' Innovation Center in Morrisville, North Carolina, a facility that supports manufacturing of "key components of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate" developed by Novavax.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
US president Donald Trump. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

US president Donald Trump has nominated retired United States Army colonel Douglas Macgregor to be the new ambassador to Germany.

“Colonel Macgregor is widely recognised 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.”

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.

READ MORE: Germany to introduce compulsory COVID-19 testing for arrivals from risk areas

Grenell’s time in the Germany was marked by a thorny relationship with Berlin’s political elite, beginning from his arrival in 2018.

The staunch Trump ally was outspoken, and often seen to be overstepping his remit and meddling in matters of German national policy.

Outgoing US ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell frequently pushed Trump’s foreign policies during his two years in the position, including telling Germany to halt trading with Iran, criticising the country’s defence 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.”