Whatever America decides to do, its troops’ presence will never leave Europe. Doing so would open the continent up to attack, and given the fighting forces and resources of numerous European countries, they are in need of the U.S. just as much as Americans love being there. Currently, with Russian President Vladimir Putin at war with Ukraine, there is a real risk that he may try to move the Ukrainian attack to the west, touching eastern parts of Europe. That's where we are.
Much of Europe is part of NATO with the understanding that attacking one country is an attack on all, something NATO takes seriously. Therefore, the U.S. is threatening to increase the troops being deployed to Poland as well as other regions that border Ukraine and Russia. This type of troop increase is partly made possible by having had troops already deployed to areas such as Germany, Italy, England, and the Netherlands.
They are supported by troops from units within the U.S., who are either transferred directly to the front or replacing soldiers in Europe who have been moved forward to be ready to perform necessary tasks, no matter the time or place. The question is now being asked about the necessity of transferring personnel from the U.S. across Europe in order to fulfill the mission.
The primary concern is how to go about transporting such a massive army in such a short period of time. With around 80,000 troops already stationed in Europe, the addition of more troops has increased that number to 90,000. The U.S. is considering expanding this number further, which is expected to be an ongoing plan. With regard to the 12,000 people whom former President Donald Trump tried to bring back to their families in the final quarter of 2020, the numbers currently are still lower than when he was president.
Reducing the number of soldiers stationed there was never something people could agree on. While it's admirable and desirable to keep our brave men and women back home, many families are happy being stationed at a European base, and for a lot of single soldiers, it offers the chance of a lifetime. But more important are the friendships formed and lessons gained through European allies, which are incredibly valuable. From the most humble soldier to the four-star general in charge of his final installation, the entire process within Europe provides a unique benefit to every person who is a part of it.
A senior Pentagon participant discussed this trend recently confidentially. “There's not been any posture decision, no decision-making on posture that is permanent … There aren't any serious talks with other nations in the context of permanent posture as of now. However, I believe it's possible to say that the security situation in Europe is drastically different from what it was prior.”
If you take a look at a map of Europe and the dimensions of Russia and the size of China, this conclusion is absolutely correct. Putin has transformed Europe into a completely different continent, and the situation needs to change.
It is imperative that this all be thoroughly studied and researched before making any moves. One of the main fears is that Putin is likely to feel he has been pushed back and may press the nuclear button in order to regain space. This type of attack could unleash nuclear weapons all over the world. The fear of nations destroying one another is what has prevented this possibility from occurring. At present, the primary efforts are focused on ensuring that US troops are put in the right location in the event that Putin decides to continue his westward march.
The official said, “No decisions have been taken in the past, obviously. No specific ideas are being discussed or debated; however, the issue of what [the] security situation in Europe will be long-term will be debated… At the moment, the focus is to determine whether there need[s] to be more temporary deployments to strengthen the eastern flank in light of what's happening there in Ukraine.”