Markus Laubenthal

Barack Obama Appoints Non-American Officer To Be In Charge Of The U.S. Army In Europe

When it comes to the many military units around the world, it is researched and statistically analyzed that the country with the world’s most powerful military is the United States of America. The land of the free and the home of the brave has enjoyed this military superpower status for quite some time, in which most military experts believe its status was cemented after the Cold War. Even the military size surpasses other countries, in ratio of those serving to the overall population. This can be exampled by the numerous active bases housing many American soldiers serving to protect our freedoms.

However, reports are coming in that one of our military branches, the army to be exact, appointed a new chief of staff for the U.S. Army in Europe. What is unique, or peculiar, about this news is the new chief of staff isn’t even American.

Markus Larbunthal

According to an article by Army Times, it reports that German Army brigadier general, Markus Laubenthal, is assuming duties as the chief of staff of U.S. Army Europe, marking the first time a non-American officer has held the position. Prior to his new position, Laubenthal served with NATO forces in Afghanistan, commanded Germany’s 12 Panzer Brigade in Amberg, and was chief of staff of Regional Command North, International Security Assistance Force Afghanistan. With his new position, Laubenthal will be stationed at USAREUR headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany, and might report to duty as early as this coming Monday.

Lt. Gen. Donald Campbell, the major staff assistant to USAREUR, made a statement that Laubenthal will synchronize the command’s staff activities as American predecessors have in the past:

“This is a bold and major step forward in USAREUR’s commitment to operating in a multinational environment with our German allies.

U.S. and German senior military leaders have been serving together in NATO’s International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan for years. Sustaining the shared capability from this experience will benefit both the U.S. and German armies.”

In another article by Military, Markus Laubenthal provided insight of a personal experience, in which he stated the following about his past military experience and his future working as the chief of staff:

As the commander of Panzer Brigade 12, I have always valued the joint exercises with our partnership unit, the 2nd Calvary Regiment in Vilseck. I am sure that I can use the experience I gained in the German army supporting the training of ready army forces in my new position with USAREUR.”

To some military experts, this move might actually be a means to patch up the strain between the U.S. and Germany. This includes the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) placing mass surveillance on German citizens, including the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Also last month, German authorities expelled the CIA’s chief in Berlin after investigators identified suspected spies allegedly working for the U.S. within the German government.

General George Washington

Finally there is a very unique insight pertaining to this move which comes from our first president, George Washington. In his farewell address on September 19, 1796, he said the following:

“Tis our true policy to steer clear of permanent Alliances, with any portion of the foreign world.”

To conclude, we want to hear from all of you. Is Barack Obama’s decision to appoint Markus Leubenthal actually a progressive move to better relationships between U.S. and Germany military alliances? Or is it a mistake to appoint someone overall charge of a military branch representing a country they weren’t born, or even lived in? Let us know in the comments below.

[Images via Bing]

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