The Economist does its best to pretend that there are still major threats to European security:
The thinking behind the “rebalancing” looks flawed for several reasons. The first is that far from being on oasis of stability, EUCOM’s 51-country region covers some pretty flammable trouble spots, among them Georgia’s border with Russia, Kosovo’s border with Serbia and Turkey’s border with Iraq and Syria. Israel is also within EUCOM. There are less conventional security threats too, from terrorists moving between safe havens to cyber attacks.
American and western European governments weren’t willing to do anything during the war between Russia and Georgia before this “rebalancing,” so it is hard to imagine that maintaining the status quo would make any difference. Russian-Georgian tensions exploded in August 2008 in part because of the perception in Tbilisi and Moscow that the U.S. and NATO would support Georgia in a clash with Russia. Absent the recognition of Kosovo and signals that Georgia would be admitted into NATO in the future, it is possible that tensions would not have escalated into war. European governments must be able to cope with border skirmishes between Serbia and Kosovo on their own. Turkey and Israel are more than capable of securing their borders against any likely threats.
Elsewhere, Sean Kay has taken the strategic guidance’s proposals for Europe and built on them to argue for a dramatically reformed NATO, and towards the end he asks the crucial question:
If the United States cannot disengage from Europe now, then from where in the world can it?
Inevitably, there will be some resistance in any region where the U.S. is starting to reduce its presence. There will always be potential problems cited to justify keeping things more or less as they are, but these problems are almost always exaggerated, and the ability of regional governments to cope with them is usually downplayed. If the U.S. cannot leave European security largely to the Europeans at this point, there will never be a time for it.