June 04, 2004


I thought this was only news on the German radio -- where they're talking about the loss of 40,000 jobs -- but Bunker pointed out that the details are in this New York Times article called A Pentagon Plan Would Cut Back G.I.'s in Germany. It requires registration, so I will highlight the important bits.

First there are details of the plans, which won't be officially announced for another two months.

Under the Pentagon plan, the Germany-based First Armored Division and First Infantry Division would be returned to the United States. A brigade equipped with Stryker light armored vehicles would be deployed in Germany. A typical division consists of three brigades and can number 20,000 troops if logistical units are included, though these two divisions have only two brigades each in Germany, with the other brigade in the United States.

In addition, a wing of F-16 fighters may be shifted from their base in Spangdahlem, Germany, to the Incirlik base in Turkey, which would move the aircraft closer to the volatile Middle East; a wing generally consists of 72 aircraft. Under the Pentagon plan, the shift would be carried out only if the Turks gave the United States broad latitude for using them, something that some officials see as unlikely.

The Navy's headquarters in Europe would be transferred from Britain to Italy. Administration officials are also discussing plans to remove some F-15 fighters from Britain and to withdraw the handful of F-15 fighters that are normally deployed in Iceland, though final decisions have not been made.

Then there's the snide commentary from the Lefties:

But some experts and allied officials are concerned that a substantial reduction in the United States military presence in Europe would reduce American influence there, reinforce the notion that the Bush administration prefers to act unilaterally and inadvertently lend support to the French contention that Europe must rely on itself for its security.


Other specialists have warned that the greatest risk is the possible damage to allied relations.

"The most serious potential consequences of the contemplated shifts would not be military but political and diplomatic," Kurt Campbell and Celeste Johnson Ward of the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote in an article published last year in the journal Foreign Affairs, well before the extent of the changes now planned became known."Unless the changes are paired with a sustained and effective diplomatic campaign, therefore, they could well increase foreign anxiety about and distrust of the United States."

My thoughts: tough. Germany and France are not our allies anymore.

Posted by Sarah at June 4, 2004 05:46 PM

"...inadvertently lend support to the French contention that Europe must rely on itself for its security..." May be that is what we 'advertently' want. Why the hell shouldn't Europe rely on itself for its security? Why should we pay for their security with our blood and treasure in return for obstruction and snide remarks. Its about time for Europe to grow up and be responsible instead of bitching about and preaching to us. "...the greatest risk is the possible damage to allied relations..." Allied relations is not a one-way street. France and Germany have never cared about damaging allied relations, haven't they? One thing about the left that I can't stand is their patronizing attitude, they put all burdens of responsibility on us and treat everybody else like a child, a fragile little child to be placated.

Posted by: ic at June 4, 2004 08:46 PM

I know how you feel about MSNBC.com, but I had just been reading about this on that site and checked your blog to see if you'd heard about it. If you want to see the more cautious tone of msnbc.com about whether the military actually plans to maket those moves, read it here:

Posted by: Kate Ross at June 4, 2004 09:02 PM

I should do more surfing before sending emails! I sent you a link to this story. Oh well.

Posted by: Beth at June 5, 2004 03:49 AM

"reduction in the United States military presence in Europe would reduce American influence there"

Who cares? Anyway we still have McDonalds there, that's all the American influence they need.

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