US military to close 15 bases in Europe

Redheart

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#1
As budgets shrink and Americans won't be fighting the Russians any time soon, there's no reason to unnecessarily throw away money. But that's my way of reading between the lines:
BBC News - US military to close 15 bases in Europe
The US will close 15 military bases across Europe, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has confirmed.

The Pentagon says the move will save around $500m (£300m) a year, and comes as the US military seeks to shift its attention towards Asia.

But the US has named RAF Lakenheath to be the first permanent European base for the F-35 aircraft.

The US currently has more than 60,000 troops stationed in Europe, mostly in Germany, Italy and the UK.

The number will remain the same, as the US ramps up rotations within Europe for training programmes.
However these changes come because the U.S wants to turn their attention elsewhere . . .
For some years now the US military has been reviewing its bases in Europe, eager to reduce its footprint to rationalise and cut costs. In part it is due to budget constraints but it is also driven by strategic changes as the Pentagon turns its gaze increasingly towards the Asia-Pacific.
Huh? So now, it's, "China, here we come. As friends?"
 
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#2
This is completely normal. When Europe was seen as a potential zone of conflict, bases were created a bit all over the place. Now these bases are more or less obsolete since the idea of a large scale conflict inside Europe has subsided. If the US needs bases in Europe, they can just use their allies' bases.
 
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#3
This is a smart move. In the grand scheme of things Europe is quite stable and to host bases their is a huge economic drain. Its almost certain that any bases of strategic value against Russia will not be affected by this move regardless.
 

003

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#4
I could smell something with this. Probably the reason why US closes some of its bases in Europe is because they are preparing for something more imminent that will need a boost in budget, so they would have to cut these bases and use the money being fund for those. What is it, we don't know yet. But sure, America didn't simply close those for nothing, not to mention that those bases signify ties to the countries where those are located.
 
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#5
Shutting down old Cold War Bases - didn't realize any were still open. This is very interesting to me - I'm more curious as to how the money is going to be reinvested. I'm a firm believer in spending money on defense - is the money staying in defense or is the money going somewhere else in the American economy? The article doesn't mention where the money is going and where the thousands of troops stationed at these facilities are going to be heading.

Something to keep an eye on in the news. Thanks for posting!
 
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#6
They were never needed after 1960. We simply do not live in a world where a ´fort´ is going to stop anyone from invading. It is too easy to bomb the backlines and cities far inside the invading country. Even in WW2 when France had all those bases lined up on the border with Germany, it did nothing because transporation was so fast and effecient that Hitler just basically drove around them by going north.
 

Saraldra

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#7
There are old bases like this all over Europe. It's normal for them to close some of the more redundant ones. I don't think it will affect security or readiness levels in Europe.
 
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#8
This is great for tuning down our military presence in the world. Countries need to defend themselves.
 
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#9
I guess if they're not really needed then we're better off closing them and getting our troops out of their countries, especially if these bases were from back when the Cold War was still happening years ago. At the same time, I guess it's always a good thing to have them set up goodness forbid something happens in that country and the United States needs a military base there. But I guess we can always make more bases as we need them over time.
 
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#10
Shutting down old Cold War Bases - didn't realize any were still open. This is very interesting to me - I'm more curious as to how the money is going to be reinvested. I'm a firm believer in spending money on defense - is the money staying in defense or is the money going somewhere else in the American economy? The article doesn't mention where the money is going and where the thousands of troops stationed at these facilities are going to be heading.

Something to keep an eye on in the news. Thanks for posting!
My thoughts exactly. As long as the money "saved" is being reinvested in the military, I'm all for it. However, what scares me is another repeat of Clinton, who "balanced" the budget by reducing our military. In a perfect world, it would be great to not need a military and use that money for social issues, but we don't live in a perfect world. Like it or not, the US needs a standing military to protect herself.
 
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#11
This is actually a completely rational move. Most of Europe has stabilized and there is no reason for us to have so many active bases there. Just a few permanent bases for emergencies seems sufficient. However, there are rising conflicts with our allies in the Asia-Pacific region, so it makes sense that we would move some active servicemen and women to that area. Many of our Asia-Pacific allies have stated we have paid them too little attention with mounting tensions in the area. Perhaps, we are remedying their complaints.
 
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#12
This scares me with Russia beginning to act like it has. I wish the article listed what bases were to be closed. I would be okay with those in the UK, France, Spain, and Portugal closing, but any in Germany and Italy should remain open in my opinion. Italy is a good stationing ground if something happens in North Africa and Germany is good for Eastern Europe. I know the US is expecting North Korea to do something stupid in the next decade so a shift to the Pacific makes sense.
 
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#13
This scares me with Russia beginning to act like it has. I wish the article listed what bases were to be closed. I would be okay with those in the UK, France, Spain, and Portugal closing, but any in Germany and Italy should remain open in my opinion. Italy is a good stationing ground if something happens in North Africa and Germany is good for Eastern Europe. I know the US is expecting North Korea to do something stupid in the next decade so a shift to the Pacific makes sense.
They really aren´t needed for that though, We work so closely with other countries that the delay of getting mobilized without these bases is minimal. Think about 1990 and Kuwait. It took almost no time for us to take over Saudi air bases and have our troops on the ground even though we had no military presence there at all when Kuwait was invaded and we didn´t have good military cooperation with Saudi up until that point. Getting troops into countries like Germany, Poland and Italy will be a breeze compared to Saudi and I am sure there is already plans on how to do it rapidly.
 
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#14
Yes it is true we work closely with other countries. However there is a lot of reluctance at the moment politically for countries to send troops ANYWHERE. So yes we could get a rapid response mobilized, however the reality of reinforcements might be delayed for months. We can't just rely on other countries to protects our interests.
 
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#15
I must agree that it is a good move. The soldiers can go home to their loved ones. Citizens should be taught to live at peace with each other. They should have a system to report those breaking the law or behaving suspiciously. It is the responsibility of every citizen to watch their neighbor and report them to the relevant authorities if they believe they have activities that may put the peace of the nation at risk.
 
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