Never mind Iraq

How are the Yanks going to get out of Europe:

Sixty years after the end of World War II, there are still 62,000 American troops in Europe. They are stationed in 236 bases, including 13 training areas. The force has been reduced considerably over the years, especially after the Cold War ended in 1991, leaving over a quarter million American troops in Europe. But in 2015 there will still be 24,000 American troops over there, in 88 bases, and using four training areas.

I was watching a documentary called Collossus by Niall Ferguson. He's a good egg historian loathed by the Left for saying clearly outrageous things like "maybe some of the British Empire wasn't all bad."

Anyhow, Ferguson's thesis is that the US is a reluctant empire that is still an empire, albeit in denial (which ain't a river in Egypt, BTW). Part of this quasi-imperial strategy is "full spectrum dominance", i.e. supremacy in every arena of conflict.

One of the primary building blocks of this force projection is the US nuclear-equipped carrier fleets.

The other is the permanent strategic presence in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. That is to say although many in US Govt. would love to stand down all those PXs in Germany, the fact is that their presence is a key plank of post-WW2 foreign policy.

So for their heavy lift, out-of-theatre logistics and medical facilities and so on they need their European bases. They are the safe little bits of America from where the War on Terror will be fought.

Lastly, Ferguson posits the view that of the two post-war superpowers we should be reasonably pleased that the winner was the US rather than the Soviets.


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