One of the things that I am in full alignment with the Obama Administration on, though for different reasons, is the ongoing withdraw from Europe.
In Sal's world, we would only have Joint/Combined logistics and training bases. That's it. The major reason is that we have allowed generations of spoiled First Worlders in Europe let us spend our blood and treasure so they can have six-weeks of vacation.
Just when we back out though, the Europeans financial house is collapsing around them so that in many respects they couldn't re-arm even if they wanted to.
In that light - in a way - this is sad. Behold; the EuroWeenie-ess Brigitte Adès in the NYTOnline,
But among the Western allies, the French and the British have long anticipated a withdrawal of U.S. troops and have been more forward than most in their attempts to promote the idea of a European defense, as evidenced by the Franco-British agreement signed in Lancaster in November 2010. Nevertheless, looking at the agreement closely, the content seems motivated by budgetary constraints rather than by a genuine desire to build an independent European defense. Against the backdrop of severe economic crisis, it is unlikely that Europeans will accelerate the building of a common defense. And NATO will therefore remain Europe’s primary defense organization in the years to come.As with most NATO-speak, when you hear NATO in the context of serious military action - read "United States."
Senior NATO officials confirmed to me their intention to adapt to the new American policy, and to the changing world, with a more flexible approach. They say they look forward to new, more flexible partnerships within NATO and even with outside partners, adapted to new challenges, such as cyber warfare, environmental crisis and energy security.Amazing. The bloodless dreams of the pampered. That is the world of their think tanks; but that isn't the real world.
The crisis right on Europe's door is in Syria - nothing cyber or green about that war. That is a war of reality; blood and iron.
This is even more delusional.
“Afghanistan has served as a catalyst,” he added. “It has set up a new culture. We must keep working on the links which have been made through joint operations so far. We must invest in permanent ties by having global partners such as Australia, Japan. South Korea, India and even China. We are connecting NATO to the global landscape.”Now that is rich. What is the American lesson of Afghanistan WRT NATO? Simple; outside GBR, EST, DNK, NLD, CAN and some dog-n-cat one-off SOF/specialized units from a few others - the rest are more than content to let others die for them as they huddle in the FOB and keep their major maneuver forces home for the holidays.
Too many generations of Europeans are detached from meaningful military means of self-defense. Uncle Sam will always be there ... right?
Ummm .... no.