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U.S. Military Presence in Europe Matters

Author: Colonel Chad T. Manske, USAF, 2011-2012 Military Fellow, U.S. Air Force
January 31, 2012


The United States is contemplating a change in strategy, away from our current defense posture in Europe.

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta released a defense strategic guidance, "to articulate priorities for a 21st century defense that sustains U.S. global leadership," as the Pentagon chief put it.

Although few commentators noticed, the guidance alludes to a subtle policy shift away from U.S. security and interests in Europe.

Personally, as a U.S. Air Force colonel and commander of the Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, England from 2009-2011, I find these pronouncements vexing.

The changes should not be taken lightly, particularly at a time when trans-Atlantic economies, capabilities and military presence are more inextricably linked than ever.

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