Military Cuts Leave NATO Weaker

Posted March 27, 2014 at 5:13am

The New York Times reports that “President Obama and European leaders pledged Wednesday to bolster the NATO alliance and vowed that Russia would not be allowed to run roughshod over its neighbors. But the military reality on the ground in Europe tells a different story.”  

“The United States, by far the most powerful NATO member, has drastically cut back its European forces from a decade ago. European countries, which have always lagged far behind the United States in military might, have struggled and largely failed to come up with additional military spending at a time of economic anemia and budget cuts.”  

“During the height of the Cold War, United States troops in Europe numbered around 400,000, a combat-ready force designed to quickly deploy and defend Western Europe — particularly what was then West Germany — against a potential Soviet advance.”  

“Today there are about 67,000 American troops in Europe, including 40,000 in Germany, with the rest scattered mostly in Italy and Britain. The Air Force has some 130 fighter jets, 12 refueling planes and 30 cargo aircraft. At the end of the Cold War in the early 1990s, it had 800 aircraft in Europe.”