The Defense Drumbeat Blog

Jun 13 2013

Coffman Amendment to Remove U.S. Troops in Europe Draws Wide Opposition

Foreign Policy Initiative, Heritage Foundation Both Oppose

Foreign Policy Initiative - U.S. Military Retreat from Europe Would Have Dangerous Consequences
"The House of Representatives may debate today a proposal to drastically cut U.S. military presence in Europe, a move that America’s national security leadership and our closest allies oppose.  Indeed, whatever small savings might be found in a U.S. military retreat from Europe would come at a significant cost to our security, interests, and global leadership.

"...In addition the Foreign Policy Initiative’s analysis suggests if the United States further reduces its military presence in Europe, it risks:

  • Constraining America’s ability to respond rapidly to strategic threats and international crises throughout the world...
  • Degrading America’s efforts to build up allied and partner capacity...
  • Losing a critical logistical transportation hub for U.S. global operations...

"While proponents of reducing or eliminating U.S. military presence in Europe often cloak their arguments in fiscal responsibility, their proposals are short-sighted and potentially strategically costly in the long term.  Following their advice would harm the security and interests of the United States and its allies, and ultimately damage the U.S. military’s ability to project power and influence throughout the world."

Heritage Foundation - U.S. Presence in Europe Critical in the Years Ahead
..."U.S. forces in Europe primarily serve U.S. interests. For one, U.S. troops stationed in Europe are close to some of the most dangerous regions in the world, such as the Middle East. The tragedy of Benghazi and an absence of U.S. forces in the face of an overwhelming threat serve as a stark reminder of just how important U.S. forces are to protecting Americans abroad. Potential instability in Russia, the Arctic, Iran, Asia Minor, the Caspian Sea, North Africa, and adjacent transportation corridors are incredibly important for the well-being and prosperity of the U.S.

Moreover, significant reductions in European basing have been underway for years. The U.S. Army has downsized from 245 installations to 145 installations between 2003 and 2010. The Air Force has reduced aircraft and forces stationed in Europe by 75 percent since 1990. In March 2013, the Army sent its 22 remaining battle tanks in Germany back to the U.S.—the first time in 69 years that there is no U.S. tank stationed on German soil."...