Trump Sounds the Retreat: Can European Defence Advance?

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Publication Date 26/06/2020
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After years of complaining that the US spends too much on defending wealthy allies, President Donald Trump confirmed in 2020 that he intended to reduce the number of US troops stationed in Germany to 25,000. The announcement, made without formally consulting Germany or NATO, caused disquiet in Europe, raising worries about the US’s long-term commitment to European security. But Europeans need to move from vague concern to strategic reflection and concerted action.  Europeans would be unwise to assume that if they did nothing questions about the US presence in Europe would go away if Joe Biden won the presidential election.  Even if they would rather pretend that nothing is changing, the EU and as many non-EU European NATO members as are willing to do so need to start thinking about how to defend Europe and deter potential adversaries with reduced US help.

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ESO Records
EPRS Briefing, Oct. 2020: Understanding EU-NATO cooperation: Theory and practice
CER Bulletin, No.134, 2020: Can the EU’s Strategic Compass Steer European Defence?

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