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Old 4th Sep 2015, 17:01
  #205 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Age: 61
Posts: 5,630
Originally Posted by bcgallacher View Post
The American military were not based in Europe to protect the Europeans but in an attempt to ensure that a major conflict with the USSR could be contained there without spreading to the US mainland.
That's a bit rich for a piece of revisionism

They were there initially as an army of occupation, which role transformed into being there to prevent aggression (which is PROTECTING the lands where they were stationed) and failing that, to stop whomever invaded central/western Europe from taking the bloody whole continent. It was obvious that the believed/perceived invader was the USSR and/or it various Warsaw Pact clients/allies.

As time went on, the reasons to keep the large body of people and materiel evolved, and then to my eye mutated. When the Wall dropped in 89, to include the decisions on how many units to disband/return home got thrown a curve ball: NATO (ALL 16 NATIONS!) chose to begin 'out of area' operations. The result of this was that fewer units could be returned/sent home since the US had now committed to launching operations (with allies) from NATO soil into non NATO soil. That wasn't generally the case before (though an interesting bit of bilateral help was received form our friends the Brits for Dorado Canyon ... but NOT from the French)

I got the chance to be involved in some work involved in that whole new concept, "out of area operations," as well as operations themselves IFOR/SFOR.

ISAF is / was a further mutation/change to our allied and collective defense efforts.
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