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  • US troop withdrawal from europe and asia

    I just wanted to hear your opinion on this, good or bad for either side?

    Concerning germany: 70.000 US soldiers are planed to be recalled back home over the next few years. I don't think that that will change the security situation for germany, I don't expect to see soviet tanks rumbling through northern germany anywhere soon as germany is now surrounded by friends. There will be some short term local economical worsenings but nothing serious. In the long run I think it might even help us to finally get the european army going, to depend more on our own abilities (transport assets for exampls), to not be so dependant on the US (for example with UN missions). So for europe I think it's actually good. In asia it's a little bit different, the korean situation is still highly explosive and withdrawing troops from this thather might prove fatal should the situation get out of control or even initialize a serious crisis when NK sees this as a sign of weakness.

    And for the US ? Will it help their mobility if all troops have to debark from the US? With bases in europe they are also able to use the transport facilities available here and make use of the shorter distances to the theather of operations. While there are no plans to completely abandon all US bases in germany (a Stryker brigade will replace the heavy divisions that will return to the USA) it will than certainly take loner to deploy significant forces to theathers close to europe/middle east.
    "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

    Henry Alfred Kissinger

  • #2
    Well a lot of people feel that the US military is spread too thin as it is. Since the fall of the old Soviet Union, keeping troops in Germany is making less sense by the year. Currently there are a lot of other places that we need these troops more.

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    • #3
      > Concerning Germany ...
      > And for the US ? Will it help their mobility if all troops
      > have to debark from the US? With bases in Europe they are
      > also able to use the transport facilities available here
      > and make use of the shorter distances to the theater of
      > operations.

      It seems prudent to me for the US to move its Atlantic facing forces to more dependable staging areas even if the transit times are less favorable. US bases in Europe would be worthless if host nations or their neighbors were to deny or obstruct overflight and ground transit activities in a future US conflict. Which might very likely be the situation if the US chose again in the near future to conduct military action without the overt support of continental Europe.

      > the Korean situation is still highly explosive and
      > withdrawing troops from this theater might prove fatal
      > should the situation get out of control

      If North Korea has a significant capability to strike locally with nuclear weapons then I favor reducing the number of US troops in static positions near the DMZ. North Korea can be adequately threatened from Okinawa, Hawaii, and Guam.

      > when NK sees this as a sign of weakness

      That is unavoidable because this is in fact a sign of relative, short term weakness. However, the fatal mistake would be made by North Korea if it failed to recognize that the reduced size of the US military is currently a purely political decision.
      Best regards, Major H
      [email protected]

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      • #4
        I have absolutely no problem with US troops abandoning Germany.
        Of course it might stir a little economic trouble, but we have enough of that already, so it's not gonna be decisively more...

        And as the US is really stretched thin (wonder why if you occupy one and a half country) they should go where they are "needed".

        On the Korean issue: Who really believes that the NK would attack into SK? I mean if they are desperate enough to try that, they would do it not regarding the presense of US troops IMHO.
        "A platoon of Chinese tanks viciously attacked a Soviet harvester,
        which was peacefully working a field near the Soviet-Chinese border.
        The harvester returned fire and upon destroying the enemy
        returned to its home base."

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mr_clark
          On the Korean issue: Who really believes that the NK would attack into SK? I mean if they are desperate enough to try that, they would do it not regarding the presense of US troops IMHO.
          I don't quite agree, at the moment approx 30.000 US troops are stationed along the korean border and in the case of a NK attack many of these soldiers will die in days. There is absolutely no way the US could avoid a full scale commitment after such losses. But, if all US forces are withdrawn from SK or are stationed at the very southern tip of SK and NK attacks, would the US be willing to commit it's soldiers to a very bloody conflict ? Or would they probably rethink the situation and only help SK with air attacks, military supplies, recon informations and try to avoid getting drawn into a very bloody conflict, especially if the NK make spectacular advances during the first days and it is likely that the war can be over in a matter of weeks with a SK surrender?
          This possibility alone could be enough to tip a desperate NK from 'it's not worth it' to 'it's dangerous but we can pull this off'
          "The conventional army loses if it does not win. The guerrilla wins if he does not lose."

          Henry Alfred Kissinger

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          • #6
            I don't think there is any way the US would back down, or not get involved in Korea, should the North attack, whether there would be US troops in the country, or not... It is perhaps the most black-and-white scenario available for the US, hence the one it'd be most comfortable tackling, nuke or no nukes. The planet would be united behind the US too.

            The bases in Germany serve the US better than Germany/NATO/Europe. I think it is a huge mistake by the US (for its own sake and interests) if it is now starting "withdrawing" from Europe, as Europe and the USA are probable moving apart in a political and sociological context. For Europe, well, it is more a mix of positives and negatives.
            "You can't change the rules in the middle of the game."
            "Hey, you just made that rule up."


            Heil Dicke Bertha!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Dicke Bertha
              The bases in Germany serve the US better than Germany/NATO/Europe. I think it is a huge mistake by the US (for its own sake and interests) if it is now starting "withdrawing" from Europe, as Europe and the USA are probable moving apart in a political and sociological context.
              I am not so sure they would be "withdrawing" from Europe. In the article I thought it mentioned the possiblity of repositioning some of them further East such as in Poland and other former Soviet territory.
              [Official Game Thread] "To the Berezina River" Napoleonic Game

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              • #8
                I think the Bush Administration is making the right choice for the most part. America's defense posture must abandon it's "Cold War" structure to address current and future security concerns. The US must also accept our new position in the world. People will no longer tolerate our superpower status. We have to ammend our position to respect the growing power of allies.

                Troop re-dispositioning is just a part of a much wider defense strategy. Strengthening ties with Australia, Russia, and China, while ammending relationships with Japan and South Korea are very important. Encouraging defense and political cooperation between Asian countries is also a critical element of the Asian posture strategy.

                Large bases housing thousands of troops and their families is not only expensive, but can strain relations with the host nation. People are rarely comfortable with the presense of foriegn troops. They create a footprint on the local population, which is often unwelcomed.

                The US will find it easier to convince local governments to allow our military to base equipment and small contingency forces in their country for emergencies. Military equipment and supplies are less visible. Small contingency forces that are regularly rotated out are less likely to leave a large footprint on the local population. This is a major plus in the Middle East and Central Asia where religious and cultural ideals are so important. In a crisis, the US should not have too much trouble airlifting troops from the US using a variety of military and civilian aircraft. They could then link up with supplies.

                There are problems though. First, the US must figure out how to house more than 170,000 soldiers and dependents. Secondly, troop withdrawals could encourage countries like Japan to increase their military strength to combat aggression from North Korea. NK could also be emboldened by the shift. Other problems include shortages in transport aircraft (we really need more), deterrence, and the strength of rapid response.

                Hopefully, the Asian Posture will encourage greater cooperation among nations, and undermine the negative image of America. However, any shift carries risk, which leaders must be aware of.

                As for South Korea. If the North attacks, I really don't see any way for the US to abandon the South. In the US, as in many countries, the deployment of troops to any country represents our strong commitment to the effort.
                "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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                • #9
                  Anyone know if the naval presence in Asia will be affected?
                  Not lip service, nor obsequious homage to superiors, nor servile observance of forms and customs...the Australian army is proof that individualism is the best and not the worst foundation upon which to build up collective discipline - General Monash

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Temujin
                    Anyone know if the naval presence in Asia will be affected?
                    Earlier this month, the Pentagon admitted it was considering to base a second aircraft carrier in Asia. I think the US will continue to increase her naval presence in the region.
                    "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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                    • #11
                      Tem: you should know the US and Aust. government are looking at having the Marines on Okinawa become permanent fixtures at SWBTA or Darwin - basically, US troops on Aussie soil.
                      Now listening too;
                      - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov
                        Tem: you should know the US and Aust. government are looking at having the Marines on Okinawa become permanent fixtures at SWBTA or Darwin - basically, US troops on Aussie soil.
                        I thought the US abandoned this ideal earlier this year. The plan considered basing at least 5,000 troops and a squadron of USAF F-16Cs in Australia in response to growing concerns of Islamic radicalism in the region. Another plan proposed USN basing rights for American warships. However, all these were not well received in Australia, and led to cancelling those proposal.

                        Have the US and Australia re-opened those discussions?

                        Personally, I really would prefer the US not do anything that would seriously undermine its relationship with Australia. Basing troops in Australia would likely aggravate Islamic radicalism, and expose that country to terrorism. Given the risk Australia has already taken, it is best America maintain a lower profile and support their regional foriegn policies. This would improve support for the alliance, and encourage regional cooperation.
                        "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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                        • #13
                          well, it serves the purpose of a few things SWBTA is a military area, and the surrounding towns are used to troops, domestic and foreign - it would also bring a lot of money into the communities.

                          And Australia gets the use of US facilities, for next to no cost, plus our loggies lines are dramtically reduced, and if we ever need anything, we can most likely requisition it from US stores.

                          as for making Aust. a bigger target...we'll see
                          Now listening too;
                          - Russell Robertson, ruining whatever credibility my football team once had.

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                          • #14
                            troops

                            what are the bases affected?

                            overall I think it is a great decision, long overdue, as the cold war is now over reuse, redeployment and retraining of forces for other missions is good for the US and for its allies (whoever is left).

                            first time I agree with a US decision in the last 4 years!
                            "Freedom cannot exist without discipline, self-discipline, and rights cannot exist without duties. Those who do not observe their duties do not deserve their rights."--Oriana Fallaci

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ivan Rapkinov
                              well, it serves the purpose of a few things SWBTA is a military area, and the surrounding towns are used to troops, domestic and foreign - it would also bring a lot of money into the communities.

                              And Australia gets the use of US facilities, for next to no cost, plus our loggies lines are dramtically reduced, and if we ever need anything, we can most likely requisition it from US stores.

                              as for making Aust. a bigger target...we'll see
                              Thanks for the clarification.

                              Originally posted by piero1971
                              what are the bases affected?
                              This will be the source of intense debate. BRAC 2005 (Base Realignment And Closure) commission will need to review the bases the Secretary of Defense submits for closure, and make their own recommendations. The president can either choose to accept or reject BRAC's recommendations. If he rejects it, they will need to conduct further research. If the President accepts, it is sent to Congress for implimentation. However, Congress retains the ability to reject the recommendations through a joint resolution.

                              Bush chose the right time. Now BRAC 2005 can be locked into considering this proposal, and no one will have to go through another authorization battle in Congress (at least in the immediate future). In 2001, President Bush had to threaten to veto the fiscal 2002 defense authorization bill to get BRAC 2005.
                              "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

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