What if the Russians Aren't Coming and the Americans Aren't Staying?
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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fallen so low that it no longer need be taken as a serious basis for Western policy, and the United States will have withdrawn all of its military forces from Europe, or perhaps all but a symbolic few, leaving behind, say, fewer than 50,000 troops, rather than the 325,000 of 1990 and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.
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