U.S. Readies for European Threats Despite Cuts

Posted October 19, 2015 at 9:08am

The New York Times reports that “less than three years after the United States Army sent home the last of its tanks that were permanently based in Europe, American commanders have been forced to rely on weapons shipped back temporarily or hardware borrowed from allies in the expanding effort to deter the latest threats from Russia with a fraction of the forces it had once deployed across the Continent.”  

“That is part of an evolving mission as American commanders here are preparing, if called, to face off against a new set of threats — not only from an aggressive Moscow, but also from rising militancy and chaos in the Middle East. But with across-the-board spending cuts squeezing the Pentagon’s budget, and a war-weary nation showing little eagerness to sustain a global, war-ready crouch, one of the main targets in recent years has been the Army presence in Europe, a heavy land force in an increasingly digital combat zone.”  

In terms of cuts, the Telegraph (UK) reports that “the US military has been forced to borrow British helicopters and conduct training exercises with equipment loaned by other Nato members due to budget cutbacks.”  

“America no longer has any tanks in Europe, and the number of US troops stationed there has decreased by more than a third since 2012. Many of the weapons used for Nato exercises rotate between bases in the US and in Europe.”