UNITED STATES: US troops abroad
From France, Christopher Jones writes: I would like to thank Randy Black for his concern; however, the reduction in the levels of US troops in Europe do not cause me any undue pain. Quite on the contrary, the time has come for Europe to defend itself, and with that in mind, I look forward to a balanced US budget based on all the money saved from dismantling those garrisons. Like General de Gaulle, I believe in self-reliance. Europe's dependence on the US for something as vital as national defence is very risky, because history shows that the US will always favor its own interests over those of its allies. This is normal. However Randy's message contains some interesting points: if the US has so many soldiers just sitting around, then why was the Iraq war conducted with so few troops? Almost everyone today recognizes (including Paul Bremer) that the US expeditionary force was too small. Or could the real reason lie elsewhere? Now that the US has bases directly in the Middle East (a post 1991 phenomenon) just perhaps, it does not need those European bases. In other words, the geostrategic center of US policy has shifted from Cold War Europe to the Middle East- I suggest that it was this that made the German bases redundant. As for the Clinton surpluses, Randy seems to be charging that the national statistics office is somehow unreliable.
Christopher Jones wrote: The reduction in the levels of US troops in Europe does not cause me any undue pain. Quite on the contrary, I look forward to a balanced US budget based on all the money saved from dismantling those garrisons. General Robert Gard comments: Christopher Jones should know that bringing troops home from bases in Germany will increase, not reduce, the costs of maintaining them if they are retained in the force structure. The Germans subsidize the costs of our bases there.
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