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U.S. 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 Jan. 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 U.S. troops from Germany.

Without costing the U.S. 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.

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