Biden Halts Trump’s Troop Withdrawals From Germany

Date: 2021-02-05 01:37:18

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President Joe Biden announced he’s halting and reversing Trump administration foreign policy initiatives — including troop drawdowns in Germany and support for a Saudi-led offensive in Yemen that turned into a humanitarian disaster — as he sought to boost morale at the State Department.

Biden said Thursday that he’s ordering a full Pentagon review of the U.S. military posture worldwide. That includes freezing former President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw about 9,500 soldiers from Germany — a move that stunned European allies and generated bipartisan protest in Congress.

Biden’s vision for foreign policy stands in stark contrast to Trump’s “America First” approach in which the former president often shunned alliances and resisted acting against adversarial moves taken by Russia and other countries.

“America is back,” Biden said in a speech at the State Department, flanked by Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken. “Diplomacy is back.”

Biden described U.S. alliances as “our greatest asset,” and said the U.S. will take a firm stand in dealing with China and Russia. He called on Russia to free democracy activist Alexey Navalny, whose arrest has sparked protests.

The president said that he will raise the cap on refugee admittance in the next fiscal year to 125,000 — more than eight times the 15,000-person limit Trump implemented during his last year in office. Biden’s number is also an increase from the 110,000-person cap that former President Barack Obama implemented at the end of his administration.

Even with the administration’s changes, would-be refugees will face a long road to resettlement. Trump’s move to substantially reduce admissions has created a years-long backlog of people seeking safe harbor. And Trump implemented new, harsher vetting processes, narrower eligibility requirements, and budget cuts that increased the burden on federal agencies as they evaluate potential candidates to grant entry.

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