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Trump’s Blunt Ambassador to Berlin
U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell poses for a photo with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Schloss Meseberg palace on July 6, 2018 near Gransee, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
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Trump’s Blunt Ambassador to Berlin

Walter Russell Mead

There can’t be much doubt which American ambassador has the toughest assignment these days: Richard Grenell. Representing Donald Trump in Berlin is about as demanding a job as the world of diplomacy contains. There are compensations: The view from his office—of the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate—is one of the most stunning in Europe. More important, no other ambassador can be so assured of his chance to make an impact. Repairing the U.S.-German relationship could reinvigorate the entire Atlantic alliance and enable a new era of international peacebuilding. If the relationship founders in mistrust, the dream of building a world around shared trans-Atlantic values will fade.

The task isn’t hopeless. The German political elite are increasingly concerned about the disarray in Europe, the economic threat from China and the hostile machinations of the Kremlin, and they know that Germany badly needs a serious partnership with the U.S. Nonetheless, the gap in interests, ideas and style between Angela Merkel’s Germany and Mr. Trump’s America is so wide that many on both sides believe it cannot be bridged.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal here

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