Friday, July 17, 2015

An Ocean Closer to Where They're Needed

Preventing the vast economic, scientific, and military (well, potentially) of Europe from being wielded by a hostile power is a basic national security objective of America. After more than two decades of drawing down our Army there, we hope to add a brigade's worth of equipment to Europe to man a heavy brigade.

Russian aggression makes this proposal seem prudent rather than Cold War nostalgia, eh?

The Army wants to send a second brigade's worth of tanks, Bradleys and other heavy equipment, and dedicate an entire division to exercises, training and assurance missions in Europe amid growing concerns over Russian aggression....

While the Army steps up its rotational forces, the troops stationed in Europe also are critical, he said.

"The Army's going to have to cut 40,000 people," [Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, commander of U.S. Army Europe,] said. "The fact that the Army still protected the 173rd Airborne Brigade, the 2nd Cavalry Regiment and most of the things we still have in theater, I think that is a very, very strong endorsement by the Army that the capability we have that's forward stationed is very important."

Those forces are "an ocean closer" to Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Hodges said.

I'm on board that thinking. (See page 15. And note I write about XVIII Airborne Corps--not the 17th, whatever that is).

Europe may not be sufficiently interested in defending itself, but we have an interest in defending Europe regardless of what Europeans do.