Keeping U.S. Troops in Europe

The Real Reason Why

by Robert A. Levine


Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 1.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback27 pages $20.00 $16.00 20% Web Discount

The political capability to keep U.S. troops in Europe is suffering from the collapse of the explicit military rationale that has been used to support those forces: the need to deter and defend against a massive Soviet attack against Western Europe. The likelihood of such an all-out attack has been decreasing steadily for a long time; it is clearly close to zero now. For many years, the real reasons for the U.S. presence have been far broader than this expressed rationale, and the U.S. troop presence remains important to American interests for the same reasons. This Note explores this basic need for a continuing presence of U.S. troops in Europe to support continued U.S. interests, including (1) defense against military threats smaller than a massive Soviet attack, or stemming from a reversal of current favorable Soviet trends; (2) continuation of the favorable Soviet trends; (3) stability — rapid removal of U.S. troops could substitute revived suspicions and rivalries for hopes and cooperation; (4) continued democratization of Eastern Europe, which remains an American ideological as well as strategic interest; (5) U.S. prosperity, which is closely connected to European prosperity; and (6) the voice in many European economic, political, and security matters that the U.S. troop presence gives the United States.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Note series. The note was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1979 to 1993 that reported other outputs of sponsored research for general distribution.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.