2004 April 03 Saturday
V.D. Hanson: Withdraw US Forces From Europe
Victor Davis Hanson says the Europeans will not act politically mature as long as the United States defends them.
Precisely because we protect Europe, Europe will need ever more protecting, and will grow ever more weak. And because it will need the United States to defend it, it will ever more resent the United States. Without a real menace like the Soviet Union on its borders, Europe will find ever more outlets to vent cheaply and without consequences — at precisely the time it is most threatened by terrorists and rogue states.
In contrast, the withdrawal of Americans throughout Old Europe — sober analysts can adjudicate a remnant figure of about 30,000 or so, down from our present numbers in Spain, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Greece — will encourage Europe to rearm or face the consequences of institutionalized appeasement. That radical step — despite popular misconceptions that it is either impossible or unwise — is more a good thing than a bad one.
His argument has considerable merit. The main advantage for having US troops in Europe at this point is that Europe is closer to the Middle East and Central Asia than the United States is. So then perhaps the US should negotiate basing rights with countries even closer to the scene of action. Armenia and Georgia come to mind. Or the US could put a lot more forces on Diego Garcia. It is worth thinking this through to consider other options.
Randall, withdrawing US military forces from Europe is a very bad idea. The EU with its industry, technology, and population could emerge as a superpower military competitor of the United States. Withdrawing US troops from Europe could lead to nuclear proliferation in Europe. Germany and Italy could become countries with nuclear weapons.
If this country should go to war against China, it is better for Europe to be an ally of the USA rather than be neutral or an ally of China.
The EU already has two nuclear states. the only reason the Italians and Germans might go along the road of nuclearization of their military, is if both ended up with right wing governments, who may not wish to remain in the EU apparatus.
Being British I would not trust either nation(maybe i am biased).
The Idea that the USA would have to go into a major war against china is highly unlikely( as both hold nuclear weapons, and war could be very catastrophic), in the event of such a scenario, I cannot see britain not taking sides with USA.
I see poeple keep bringing china as a future enemy, but in any war it is china that will have more to lose, especially with its economy rising so well. There are only two territorial disputes and neither is with the USA. One is Taiwan and the other are the islands(forgot the name) contested by china,phillipines,malaysia and I think but could be wrong is japan.
Taiwan is a part of china, the question is, are the Taiwanese really wanting independence on the basis of separate identity from the rest of the chinese, because if tomorrow mainland china became democratic would the taiwanese still want independence?.
As for the Islands, this is a very thorny issue because each nation is claiming its stake because of the oil reserves rather than an actual territorial claim for the islands, how the various parties resolve this is anyones guess, but war would be detrimental to all the parties concerned.
The European Union's 25 member states have defence forces that include over 1.6 million personnel and inventories that include over 35,000 armoured vehicles, 2,000 combat aircraft, 60 submarines and over 140 major surface vessels.
The EU already has more manpower than the Americans and there will be more countries joining in the future.
American has used bases in Britain to bomb Libya, bomb the Balkans, Bomb the Iraq's during the Gulf War and B-52's launched bombing missions from Fairford during the present War on Terror. The biggest bomb store in Europe is US owned and is nearby.
The NSA has it's larger base outside of America in Yorkshire, England. There is also a Ballistic Missile Early Warning System on the North Yorkshire moors giving America warning of nuclear attack and which has been doing so since the 1950's.
There are secret US communications and space survailance bases at Feltwell and Croughton, a USAF Hospital at Lakenheath (which houses USAF Nuclear Weapons) which has treated Gulf War wounded. There is an underwater submarine tracking base at the Joint Maritime Facility in Cornwall, and at Mowenstowe the NSA listens to world communications via the Gonnhilly satellite station.
At Mildenhall Tanker Aircraft supply and refuel aircraft bound for the Gulf, and at Alconbury USAF Inteligence analysis inteligience and launches strikes.
To be honest nobosy cares if the US stays, Europe can defend itself, but what nobody wants to hear is US Commentators going on about how the US Defends Europe, when it actual fact the US should be grateful to have friendly nations who allow there airforce planes to bomb enemies from bases within their countries. The US should be thankful that we allow inteligence gathering by the NSA here, that we help give America potential warning of nuclear attack and that countries such as the UK have done there best to keep NATO together rather than exclude the Americans and set up an EU alternative to Nato, which would be the French option.
Increasingly the US Bases here are strategic inteligence gathering facilities or installations invaluable in supporting US Military Operations throughout the world, so in actaul fact the US is the main benificiary of these bases and not Europe.
Stop and think the next time you start shouting about bringing the boys home, because Europe might just oblige.