Monday

27th May 2019

US considers base pull-out in western Europe

The US was playing down reports on Monday that it may be about to withdraw significant numbers of its troops from Western Europe.

"There are no formal proposals under discussion at this time," reads a statement from the US Department of State.

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The statement continued, "any plans for changing the US military presence in Europe would of course be discussed fully with our NATO allies."

It has emerged that this discussion is indeed taking place and that the US is considering moving bases from Germany to Eastern Europe.

If taken, the move will be seen as punishment for Berlin's strident opposition against a possible war in Iraq. Not so says Washington.

The US has been keen to emphasise that this is part of a "long-term process of evaluating the US military presence in all regions of the world."

Rift is not the reason

"With an alliance that is moving to the east, it stands to me as eminently logical that we will have more contacts with the east" said General James L Jones, the commander of US forces in Europe and NATO military chief.

Cost may also be a factor. It is believed that bases in Eastern Europe would be cheaper to run than those in Germany.

Also of importance is the geo-strategic location of Eastern Europe; particularly Bulgaria and Romania due to their proximity to the 'source' of asymmetric threats.

The US currently has almost 250 bases in Europe.

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