What if the Russians Aren't Coming and the Americans Aren't Staying?

by Robert A. Levine

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This Note considers the implications for U.S. foreign policy of two potential changes in international relations: the likelihood of a purposeful Soviet attack on Western Europe will have fallen so low that it no longer need be taken as a serious basis for Western policy, and the United States will have withdrawn all of its military forces from Europe, or perhaps all but a symbolic few, leaving behind, say, fewer than 50,000 troops, rather than the 325,000 of 1990 and before. The analysis leads to three major conclusions: the security issues of the next five years are likely to depend more on the radical changes that have already taken place than on those that may occur; appropriate policies can minimize the dangers stemming from the withdrawal of the U.S. military presence from Europe; and the central issues for the United States will concern its global responsibilities outside Europe, where no potential substitute for U.S. power parallel to the European Community has developed.

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.

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