The Future of the American Military Presence in Europe

The Future of the American Military Presence in Europe

The Future of the American Military Presence in Europe

The Future of the American Military Presence in Europe

Excerpt

Ten years have elapsed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which served as a fitting symbol for the end of the Cold War. That historic juncture brought into question the main edifice of western European security arrangements—the North Atlantic Treaty Organization—that had served Alliance members so well since NATO's founding in 1949. It also brought into question the rationale for America's continued deep involvement in European security affairs. With the gradual realization that the Russian menace is essentially dead, at least for the next 10 to 15 years and perhaps longer, and with NATO's missions having evolved well beyond the original purpose of territorial defense, debate on both sides of the Atlantic has begun to intensify concerning the vital issue of where NATO should be headed and America's relation to the Alliance.

To bring an array of informed voices to the debate, four institutions—the Office of the Assistant Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College, the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies of the University of Chicago, and the Program on International Security Policy at the University of Chicago—joined hands to sponsor a symposium titled “The Future of U.S. Military Presence in Europe, ” held at the University of Chicago on August 4, 1999.

The present book is an outgrowth of this symposium. It is not designed to set forth a literal record of words and events in the mold of the traditional symposium “proceedings, ” but rather is organized as an anthology of individual chapters complemented by selected questions, answers, and comments by symposium participants and attendees. The symposium opening address by Deputy Secretary of Defense John Hamre (Chapter 1) and the keynote address by the Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Wesley Clark (Chapter 2) cogently set the stage for discussion. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 address the first panel topic, “Is Europe Still Strategically Important to the United . . .

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