Until recently, Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal served in the German Army as commander of Panzerbrigade 12 and chief of staff for the International Security Assistance Force Regional Command North in Afghanistan. Now he has a far more unique job—for a German: one of the top commanders in the United States Army in Europe.
On August 4, Laubenthal became chief of staff for the U.S. Army Europe (usareur). This is one of the top offices in usareur after the commanding general and deputy commanding general. It is the first time a non-American has held this position.
Along with the U.S. European Command (eucom), usareur is responsible for all American military activity in Europe—including any activity aimed at responding to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
In the U.S. military, a chief of staff position is not a command role (except at the very top). Laubenthal will coordinate his staff to carry out what his commanding officer wants done. Nonetheless, the job is important. The German edition of the Wall Street Journal wrote that Laubenthal would be “practically the right hand of the commanding general of the U.S. land forces in Europe” (July 31). usareur is responsible for over 37,000 troops, 90 percent of whom are stationed in Germany.
Laubenthal’s appointment puts a non-American—and a national of one of the region’s major powers—at the heart of American military decision-making. Someone whose ultimate allegiance is not to the United States will help shape decisions and oversee how those decisions are implemented.
When asked if this would give “a German general real insight into American strategies,” Klaus Naumann, former inspector general of the Bundeswehr, told Deutschlandradio Kultur that Laubenthal would not be allowed to “peek” at documents marked “noforn”—off limits to foreigners. However, he will have complete access to “operational concepts for these 37,000 U.S. troops in Europe.” “He needs to coordinate and manage,” Naumann said.
Naumann explained that the German Army would “certainly benefit” from the new appointment. “For once we have an insight into what is thought in the armed forces of the United States,” he said.
This type of appointment is something we will probably see more of. “Officials said the addition of a German general officer to the usareur … is part of an American effort to give a more multinational flavor to its major overseas commands,” the Army Times wrote.
America is trying to draw closer to Germany, even as Germany is forging its own path. This trend is consistent with the prophecy in Ezekiel 23 about America “doting” on the Germans. Meanwhile, Germany, at the head of Europe, is a major power in its own right, and it is developing a foreign policy independent of the U.S.
Such cavalier trust of other nations is not new for America. Even the close integration with European militaries in nato gives foreign powers a huge amount of insight into how the American military is run. But this trust is dangerous.
America’s security is being entrusted to the goodwill of other nations. This is built on the assumption that the days of war between major powers are over. People have made this assumption throughout history—and repeatedly been proven wrong. For more on why this is such a dangerous move, read editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s article “Alamogordo: A Mistake You Only Make Once.”