Author Topic: US Realignment in Europe  (Read 2090 times)

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Offline tomahawk6

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US Realignment in Europe
« on: July 30, 2020, 07:18:45 »
2d ACR going back to CONUS but will rotate into Europe. Where the Regiment is going hasnt been announced but previously they had been at Ft Polk. They could also go to Texas say Ft Bliss or Hood. Terrain similar to Europe can be found in many states such as Alaska or someplace on the East Coast. The ACR is a brigade size force so they will require a large training area.Two such areas are in Georgia Ft Benning and Ft Stewart.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2020, 07:25:14 »
2d ACR going back to CONUS but will rotate into Europe. Where the Regiment is going hasnt been announced but previously they had been at Ft Polk. They could also go to Texas say Ft Bliss or Hood. Terrain similar to Europe can be found in many states such as Alaska or someplace on the East Coast. The ACR is a brigade size force so they will require a large training area.Two such areas are in Georgia Ft Benning and Ft Stewart.

https://www.stripes.com/news/europe/major-us-military-units-to-leave-germany-as-part-of-large-drawdown-to-begin-within-weeks-esper-says-1.639217

Offline Brihard

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2020, 07:56:35 »
“Realignment” is a pleasant euphemism. Russia will love this.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Colin P

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2020, 15:09:07 »
Apparently some units are going to move further east. Regardless of peoples opinion of Trump, Germany should not need US troops to fend off Russia, unless of course it uses the deployment of US troops as an excuse not to properly fund their army. Hmm sounds familiar.....

Offline Brihard

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2020, 15:27:17 »
Apparently some units are going to move further east. Regardless of peoples opinion of Trump, Germany should not need US troops to fend off Russia, unless of course it uses the deployment of US troops as an excuse not to properly fund their army. Hmm sounds familiar.....

The corollary to that is the US is not postured in Europe for Europe’s sake, but because it suits America’s national interest to have a strong and stable alliance as a bulwark to Russian expansion, and as a ready to go coalition in other international conflicts. Unfortunately I don’t think that the president properly grasps the significance of the multilateral relationships in command and control, logistics, signals, and intelligence that comes with these sort of long term forward-postured deployments. He’s seeing it as purely transactional, and trying to reduce it to a fiscal language that he at least somewhat understands.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Online Good2Golf

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2020, 16:24:35 »
...and potentially reducing the height of the ‘speed bump’ the Russians would have to deal with in the first 72 hours...

Offline Colin P

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2020, 18:21:13 »
The corollary to that is the US is not postured in Europe for Europe’s sake, but because it suits America’s national interest to have a strong and stable alliance as a bulwark to Russian expansion, and as a ready to go coalition in other international conflicts. Unfortunately I don’t think that the president properly grasps the significance of the multilateral relationships in command and control, logistics, signals, and intelligence that comes with these sort of long term forward-postured deployments. He’s seeing it as purely transactional, and trying to reduce it to a fiscal language that he at least somewhat understands.

Your argument has logic in it, but I really can't feel bad for the Germans, they ground their army down on the expectations of the US being around, while flinging poop at the US. A lot of those troops could move to Poland who does actually care about defending itself.

Offline FJAG

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2020, 00:17:59 »
Your argument has logic in it, but I really can't feel bad for the Germans, they ground their army down on the expectations of the US being around, while flinging poop at the US. A lot of those troops could move to Poland who does actually care about defending itself.

I don't think that the Germans "ground their armies down on the expectations of the US being around". They ground them down on the expectation that the Soviets wouldn't be there. They took their peace dividend, just as we did when we pulled 4 CMBG out and slowly let our mechanized forces degrade as we looked to becoming agile, multi-purpose forces for what purpose we really had no idea (luckily Afghanistan came along and gave us something to do).

Don't sell Germany too short. They still have two Panzer divisions and a Rapid Deployment division which is better than what the Brits have now (a kind of armoured division and a kind of infantry division) about the same as the French, but less heavy divisions then the Poles who have only slightly more men.

They also take into consideration that where Germany was once on the border with it's enemy the border is now 600 kms away (1,200 kms if you count Belarus) and has economic links with them. Most of the reduction in forces came while relations with Russia were good since the fall of the USSR and only turned tense since the Ukrainian situation.

I think Trump's reductions in Germany, however, are not rationale seeing as they are coming exactly after heightened tensions between Russia and the west. I have a hard time interpreting his often repeated reasons as Europe (and particularly Germany) not paying their fair share as either a gross misunderstanding of the 2% of GDP by 2024 commitment or is just posturing for his base. (I wonder what would happen if Germany and the rest of NATO ever sent him a bill for their participation in Afghanistan and Iraq?) I quite frankly think that the man hasn't got a hot clue about foreign affairs and international security.

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 01:38:33 »
I don't think that the Germans "ground their armies down on the expectations of the US being around". They ground them down on the expectation that the Soviets wouldn't be there. They took their peace dividend, just as we did when we pulled 4 CMBG out and slowly let our mechanized forces degrade as we looked to becoming agile, multi-purpose forces for what purpose we really had no idea (luckily Afghanistan came along and gave us something to do).

Don't sell Germany too short. They still have two Panzer divisions and a Rapid Deployment division which is better than what the Brits have now (a kind of armoured division and a kind of infantry division) about the same as the French, but less heavy divisions then the Poles who have only slightly more men.

They also take into consideration that where Germany was once on the border with it's enemy the border is now 600 kms away (1,200 kms if you count Belarus) and has economic links with them. Most of the reduction in forces came while relations with Russia were good since the fall of the USSR and only turned tense since the Ukrainian situation.

I think Trump's reductions in Germany, however, are not rationale seeing as they are coming exactly after heightened tensions between Russia and the west. I have a hard time interpreting his often repeated reasons as Europe (and particularly Germany) not paying their fair share as either a gross misunderstanding of the 2% of GDP by 2024 commitment or is just posturing for his base. (I wonder what would happen if Germany and the rest of NATO ever sent him a bill for their participation in Afghanistan and Iraq?) I quite frankly think that the man hasn't got a hot clue about foreign affairs and international security.

 :cheers:

There have been eight 'enlargements' of NATO since 1952, with the latest being Macedonia in March this year. Three other countries, close to or bordering on, Russia are NATO 'aspirants'.

It's understandable why Russia might be feeling a bit paranoid. It's also looking pretty good for an Allied defence in depth should Russia get a bit more Argie Bargy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enlargement_of_NATO
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— Jerry Pournelle —

Offline Colin P

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2020, 01:57:49 »
I don't think that the Germans "ground their armies down on the expectations of the US being around". They ground them down on the expectation that the Soviets wouldn't be there. They took their peace dividend, just as we did when we pulled 4 CMBG out and slowly let our mechanized forces degrade as we looked to becoming agile, multi-purpose forces for what purpose we really had no idea (luckily Afghanistan came along and gave us something to do).

Don't sell Germany too short. They still have two Panzer divisions and a Rapid Deployment division which is better than what the Brits have now (a kind of armoured division and a kind of infantry division) about the same as the French, but less heavy divisions then the Poles who have only slightly more men.

They also take into consideration that where Germany was once on the border with it's enemy the border is now 600 kms away (1,200 kms if you count Belarus) and has economic links with them. Most of the reduction in forces came while relations with Russia were good since the fall of the USSR and only turned tense since the Ukrainian situation.

I think Trump's reductions in Germany, however, are not rationale seeing as they are coming exactly after heightened tensions between Russia and the west. I have a hard time interpreting his often repeated reasons as Europe (and particularly Germany) not paying their fair share as either a gross misunderstanding of the 2% of GDP by 2024 commitment or is just posturing for his base. (I wonder what would happen if Germany and the rest of NATO ever sent him a bill for their participation in Afghanistan and Iraq?) I quite frankly think that the man hasn't got a hot clue about foreign affairs and international security.

 :cheers:

From this and other reports I have seen things are not well in the German military, this was January, imagine readiness states after a few months of Covid-19
  https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/germanys-military-dying-110696

Offline FJAG

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 13:14:03 »
From this and other reports I have seen things are not well in the German military, this was January, imagine readiness states after a few months of Covid-19
  https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/germanys-military-dying-110696

Equipment readiness is a serious problem because, like Canada, Germany (and several other nations) are trying new and novel ways to save money on maintenance functions including spare part supply chains.

That's not the end of it, however, recruiting too is an issue as pointed out in this slightly dated article:

Quote
German army floats plan to recruit foreigners

BERLIN (Reuters) - Struggling to fill its ranks, Germany’s military is drawing up plans to recruit nationals from other European countries as part of a drive to beef up the armed forces.

Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen wants to recruit Poles, Italians and Romanians, magazine Der Spiegel said, citing a ministry document.

The German military, or Bundeswehr, has stepped up its recruitment efforts as part of a broader reset following Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Last year, Germany said it would increase the size of its armed forces to 198,000 active soldiers by 2024 from 179,000.

Pressure on Berlin mounted again in July when U.S. President Donald Trump told a NATO summit that Washington could withdraw support for the alliance if Europe did not boost military spending.

According to the classified ministry document, some 255,000 Poles, 185,000 Italians and 155,000 Romanians, aged between 18 and 40, live in Germany - about half all foreign EU nationals. If 10 percent of them could be interested in the Bundeswehr, that could generate 50,000 new applicants, it said.
...

See rest of article here.

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 13:38:39 »
Germany finally adopts Walpole-Pitt strategy and hires foreigners to fight wars in their homelands. We used to hire Hessians and Hanoverians to fight the French and Bavarians.  Now the Germans hire Poles to take on the Russians.  Their problem is that Walpole and Pitt both funded the RN as a backstop.  What replaces the English Channel. 
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2020, 13:41:26 »
Meantime Britain continues with the Walpole-Pitt strategy.  Now they have open books they call it foreign aid and ringfence 0.7 per cent of the GDP to the cause.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2020, 15:43:14 »
My guess is if one paid Poland to supply two divisions to put under German control, the cost would be a lot less than what it would cost for German resident Poles in the German Army.

Germany and Poland have roughly the same size armies 64k (two Panzer divisions and a rapid deployment division) and 77k (1 armoured, 3 mech divisions) respectively (Total full-time force - Germany 183k; Poland 140k). Germany's defence budget is US$49 billion and Poland's is US$11.9.

Easy to see who gets more bang for the buck.

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Offline Colin P

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2020, 17:26:22 »
Two Panzer Divisions with perhaps 50 operational tanks each, just like the "Good old days"  ;D

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2020, 14:42:41 »
As part of the realignment AFRICOM has been ordered to move out of Germany. Where to has not been decided typical Army. If I was going to move I would first decide where. Maybe Africa , Spain or Italy ?

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2020/07/31/afrcom-ordered-to-plan-move-out-of-germany-latest-pullout-from-key-european-ally/

U.S. Africa Command has been ordered to make plans to move out of its headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, its commander announced in an early morning media release.

“U.S. Africa Command has been told to plan to move,” AFRICOM commander Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said in the release. “While it will likely take several months to develop options, consider locations, and come to a decision, the command has started the process. We will ensure we continue to support our host nation and African partners and our families and forces throughout.”

It’s the latest move by President Donald Trump to pull U.S. troops and resources from a key European ally. On July 29, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that nearly 12,000 U.S. troops will pull out of Germany as soon as is feasible. There are currently 36,000 there. As part of that plan, Esper announced that two headquarters elements — U.S. European Command and Special Operations Command Europe — would out of Stuttgart to Mons, Belgium, according to U.S. European Command boss Air Force Gen. Tod Wolters.

At the July 29 press conference announcing those decisions, it was hinted that AFRICOM could move out of Germany as well. Early this morning, Townsend confirmed he has been ordered to make plans to do so. The command could move elsewhere in Europe or even to America.

“In response to the President’s direction, efforts are now underway to develop plans and options to relocate AFRICOM headquarters and forces from Germany,” according to the release. “The command will look first at options elsewhere in Europe, but also will consider options in the United States.”


There are currently 1,200 military personnel assigned to AFRICOM headquarters, Air Force Col. Christopher Karns, a spokesman, told Military Times. That’s out of 1,350 allocated billets, he said.

The release does not mention the fate of U.S. Special Operations Command Africa, the Theater Special Operations Command headquarters also located in Stuttgart. However, Karns told Military Times that “options for relocation will also be developed for Special operations Command Africa. Like AFRICOM, the Command will prioritize options in Europe but also consider places in the United States.”

The command stood up in 2008 “to protect and advance U.S. national interests in Africa and develop capable, professional partner nation military forces there and has been headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, since its inception,” according to the release.



“It is important our African partners understand our commitment to them remains strong,” said Townsend. “U.S. Africa Command will continue to work with our African and other partners to address mutual interests.”

Polish ally soldiers conduct a security halt with 3rd Infantry Division soldiers at a checkpoint. (Sgt. Raymundo Prado/Army)
Thousands of troops are coming home from Germany, but some of them could be going right back
Thousands of troops are moving out of Germany, some of them back stateside.

Meghann Myers, Aaron Mehta, Sebastian Sprenger
The plans to move AFRICOM come as Trump continues to blame Germany for not contributing enough to its own defense.

As Pentagon leadership briefed reporters July 29, the president answered questions about Germany and NATO on the White House lawn.

“Germany is not paying their bills,” he said. “They’re delinquent. It’s simple.”

A non-mandatory target has NATO members paying 2 percent of their gross domestic product toward shared security costs by 2024, but few of those countries are meeting that benchmark. That includes Germany, at an estimated 1.38 percent in 2019, but also Italy and Belgium ― who paid an estimated 1.22 percent and 0.93, respectively, last year. Poland has reached that goal.

“Let’s be clear: I think Germany is the wealthiest country in Europe. Germany can and should pay more to its defense,” Esper said. “It should certainly meet the 2 percent standard, and I would argue, go above and beyond that.”

The Pentagon’s plan was focused on maximizing readiness and reassuring allies, Esper said, while at the same time under pressure from the president, who has repeatedly targeted Germany.

While Esper had hinted at rejiggering Europe force structure last year, he said that Trump’s rhetoric “accelerated” the plan.

Under the plan, troop levels in Germany would drop from 36,000 to just over 24,000, Defense Secretary Esper told reporters, with 5,600 of those re-positioned to other European countries and the remainder shifting to U.S. bases to be determined.

“I want to note that this plan is subject to, and likely will, change to some degree as it evolves over time,” Esper said July 29.

Defense News reporter Joe Gould contributed to this report.


Offline FJAG

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2020, 15:09:56 »
Italy or Spain would make sense. There are US bases in both and the HQ is only around 1,500 folks.

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Offline Ostrozac

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2020, 17:01:18 »
Given that the stated reason for the closure of Garrison Stuttgart is Germany’s failure to meet 2% of GDP NATO spending targets, wouldn’t it make sense to move AFRICOM to a country that meets those targets? Maybe Souda Bay, Crete or Gibraltar? Both Greece and the UK hit the 2% target, and both locations are closer to Africa than Germany.

I do note that Belgium doesn’t meet the 2% target, but that’s where EUCOM is going. So maybe the 2% target isn’t actually the critical factor.

Offline FJAG

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2020, 17:14:33 »
Given that the stated reason for the closure of Garrison Stuttgart is Germany’s failure to meet 2% of GDP NATO spending targets, wouldn’t it make sense to move AFRICOM to a country that meets those targets? Maybe Souda Bay, Crete or Gibraltar? Both Greece and the UK hit the 2% target, and both locations are closer to Africa than Germany.

I do note that Belgium doesn’t meet the 2% target, but that’s where EUCOM is going. So maybe the 2% target isn’t actually the critical factor.

The stated reason is silly, however, I give you Greece should be a possibility; Turkey not so much these days.

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Offline Ostrozac

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2020, 17:32:41 »
The stated reason is silly, however, I give you Greece should be a possibility; Turkey not so much these days.

 :cheers:

Oddly enough, Turkey doesn’t meet the 2% spending target, even with their large army and rather “energetic“ foreign policy. They are certainly getting value for money, in terms of firepower for the buck. What they use that firepower for is another issue.

Offline CBH99

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2020, 18:24:38 »
Aviano, Italy is a good bet.  Large US base there, host to fighter jets, transport and ISR aircraft, USMC QRF for regional emergencies, and a transit point for SOF.

Given that the AO of Aviano tends to be north Africa, and it's mission is to provide fighter support, logistical hub, QRF marines, etc. to AFRICOM already, plugging AFRICOM's HQ there seems logical.



But, as we all know, logic isn't the deciding factor in anything military.  Us, or anybody else.   :dunno:
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Offline CBH99

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #21 on: August 01, 2020, 18:36:02 »
Given that the stated reason for the closure of Garrison Stuttgart is Germany’s failure to meet 2% of GDP NATO spending targets, wouldn’t it make sense to move AFRICOM to a country that meets those targets? Maybe Souda Bay, Crete or Gibraltar? Both Greece and the UK hit the 2% target, and both locations are closer to Africa than Germany.

I do note that Belgium doesn’t meet the 2% target, but that’s where EUCOM is going. So maybe the 2% target isn’t actually the critical factor.



Isn't the NATO target supposed to be 2% by 2024?  If so, doesn't creating all of this hassle kind of jump the gun a bit?

For a President who is as pro-military as Trump, he certainly has his moments where he doesn't think about future foreign purchases of US military goods. 


Germany is just about to buy over 45 Super Hornets, along with almost 100 new Typhoons to replace their Tornado & Tranche 1 Typhoons, respectably.  There was quite a push from the various political parties to just go all Typhoon to:

a) Consolidate their combat fleet into a single aircraft type, creating substantial savings when it comes to pilot training, maintainers training, spare parts, logistics, etc.

b) Help reinforce and bolster the European aerospace industry.  (New Typhoons come with state of the art AESA radars, etc etc)



I know 45 Super Hornets isn't a huge deal to Boeing, especially now that they are building new Block 3 Super Hornets for the USN and upgrading the Block 2 aircraft to Block 3. 

Add to that the probable sale of 144 F-15EX, possibly up to roughly 400 if the USAF  choose to replace their F-15E.  45 Super Hornets isn't a big deal to Boeing now, I imagine, as their order books have become quite full lately. 



Still though...that company needs every sale it can get right now.  Losing this possible sale to Germany, and possibly losing out to the F-35 in Canada (They aren't in our good books either) -- has to sting a bit.   :2c:
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Offline tomahawk6

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #22 on: August 01, 2020, 19:29:07 »
The Germans might be waiting until the election. They have the money to meet their obligation and they have France to contend with.

Offline FJAG

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2020, 20:44:50 »
Isn't the NATO target supposed to be 2% by 2024?  If so, doesn't creating all of this hassle kind of jump the gun a bit?
...

Yes it is but I greatly suspect that, like us, they won't get there.

... and they have France to contend with.

???

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Offline Retired AF Guy

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Re: US Realignment in Europe
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2020, 11:03:56 »
Italy or Spain would make sense. There are US bases in both and the HQ is only around 1,500 folks.

 :cheers:

JFC Naples would be a logical choice. Nice new base that just opened in 2012 and Deputy-Commander is a Canadian.
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