June 04, 2004
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: ic at June 04, 2004 03:46 PM (1J+35)
Posted by: Kate Ross at June 04, 2004 04:02 PM (L2+yu)
Posted by: Beth at June 04, 2004 10:49 PM (9gagj)
Posted by: Wallace-Midland, Texas at June 04, 2004 11:41 PM (oNxAq)
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