Home/Daniel Larison/It Isn’t “Retreat” to End Overseas Commitments That Are No Longer Needed

It Isn’t “Retreat” to End Overseas Commitments That Are No Longer Needed

Col. Chad Manske objects to the reduction of U.S. forces in Europe:

Critics do not recognize that we have significantly reduced our forces and installations in Europe since the end of the Cold War. Of the 1.4 million current US military personnel, only 90,000 are in Europe, or about 6.4 percent. That’s less than one-third the number stationed in Europe in 1991.

I doubt that advocates of withdrawing U.S. forces from Europe don’t recognize this, but consider what he’s saying. 21 years after the dissolution of the USSR, 90,000 military personnel are still in Europe. Col. Manske says that these numbers are needed to fulfill Article V obligations, which skirts the main objection to a large U.S. presence in Europe: there is no threat to NATO members that requires it. Nearly seventy years after the end of WWII and two decades since the end of the Cold War, it is not a “retreat” if the U.S. decides to reduce or end the presence of our forces in Europe.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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