Potential threats to Europe may not stop reductions in US forces

Slogan at Ramstein Airbase near Landstuhl, in the west of Germany. Ramstein is the biggest American forces airbase outside the US (source: dpa)
Slogan at Ramstein Airbase near Landstuhl, in the west of Germany. Ramstein is the biggest American forces airbase outside the US (source: dpa)

The United States, suffering from global overstretch, continues to reduce its military forces in Europe. It can be argued that American troops on the continent are as important for transatlantic security today as they were during the Cold War (1947-1991), albeit for different reasons. What has not changed is Europe’s geopolitical significance. From the Arctic to the Maghreb, from the Caucasus to the Levant, the continent borders on some of the most important conflict areas in the world.

The stationing of substantial United States forces helped underwrite the stability Europe needed to achieve economic prosperity after World War II. From Washington’s point of view, there are still bene...

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