US to slash forces in Europe
US Army Europe forces, flag formation
January 13th, 2012
03:40 PM ET

US to slash forces in Europe

By CNN National Security Producer Jennifer Rizzo

The United States will withdraw two Army combat brigades from Europe in one of the first announcements of actual asset reductions as part of an effort to cut more than $400 billion from the defense budget over the next 10 years.

Reductions in troop levels in Europe had been expected after President Obama unveiled the Pentagon's new defense strategy this month that promised a leaner, cheaper military with a greater focus on the Pacific. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta made the announcement about the withdrawal Thursday in an interview with the Defense Department press service.

About 80,000 troops are stationed in Europe - about 37,000 of which are with the U.S. Army. Four Army brigades are currently stationed in the region - three in Germany and one in Italy. One brigade is typically made up of 3,500 soldiers.

No announcements have been made on which brigades will be withdrawn and when the withdrawal will begin.

A strong U.S. presence will still be maintained in Europe by having units rotate in and out of the region, a move Panetta said he is excited about in the press service interview.

Panetta compared the rotational tactic of Army units to what the Special Operations Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps already do.

"Getting the Army to deploy to areas conducting exercises providing, most of all, a partnership with countries in Latin America, Africa, other countries where we can show the flag" is important, he said. "It will keep the ground forces very meaningful in the future."

Defense Department officials have had "thorough consultations" with European allies about the withdrawal, according to Capt. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman.

European leaders understand the need for the decision, senior defense officials traveling with Panetta said Thursday.

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Filed under: Army • Budget • EU • Germany • Military • Panetta • Panetta • Pentagon • Secretary of Defense
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Leon

    Looks like no more german tours.

    January 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Reply
    • Auth

      Ciao, sono amministratore di un grppuo chiamato . Ci farebbe piacere aggiungere l’elemento al grppuo.bella macro, bella la luce ed i dettagli

      March 3, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
  2. I Hate Criminal Bureaucrats

    Obama pretends as if this was a plan simply to make a lean fighting machine.

    THE TRUTH ?

    The criminal bureaucrats have spent every penny that the USA has.

    Bloomberg Finance just reported that the USA cannot control its newest level of debt at 15 trillion. The interest alone
    is more than the USA can handle.

    Its over, folks. The criminals in local, state, and federal government have destroyed our communities and our lives.

    That is why the country is now a police state. The cops on every corner with their military gear is to prevent YOU and the general public from exacting revenge upon the criminal government that did this to us.

    January 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  3. Hahahahahahahahah

    They're leaving Europe for Iran. Hahahahahahahahahaha.

    January 16, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • I Hate Criminal Bureaucrats

      Only the brainwashed fail to see the war mongering American government for what it is.

      Right now the war mongers are baiting the Iranians with the navy ships. Same way the war mongers got us
      into the Vietnam war... baiting........ and lies.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
  4. Tom Clark

    400 billion in ten years? the Defecit is 14 trillion. This is one baby step! What about the trillions in unnecessaey weapon systems? How about foreign aid? We are cutting basic services here while giving US taxmoney to foreign countries? We can police the world but can't deliver the mail because it costs too much? Congress is pathetic. Term limits would be a real start!

    January 15, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • Error404

      Term limits would be incredible. I like your comment =)

      January 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm | Reply
      • I Hate Criminal Bureaucrats

        Term limits are not enough.

        The criminals who intentionally experimented with Americans finances need to be in JAIL.

        January 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Stay Stupid The Zionists Like You Stupid

      I know what I'm going to do:

      I'm going to give all my money to the zionists.

      Then, when the dirty evil zionists start WW3, I am going to demand my children join the U.S. Army and go fight the Arabs and Iranians for the devil worshiping zionists. I will want them to die for the zionists, since our traitor zionist controlled Congress will send thousands of our armed forces into the Middle East to die, and I will want my children to be among the glorious American dead. And when my children come back in a coffin, I will tell anyone who will listen, my children died for a good cause – defending the murdering lying zionists so they can continue killing innocent women and children while stealing more Arab land.

      Plus, I will stay in debt and be a good goym – I'll live to support the zionists in apartheid racist israel.

      I will stay stupid since that is how the zionists like their goym.

      January 16, 2012 at 8:50 am | Reply
      • Al-Pakistani

        The "Zionists" are controlling the world of 6 billion with their 17 million strong global population, this is not correct. The USA has a larger people than that in California on it own. Get your facts right, you should not open your mouth to speak your mullahs excrement.

        January 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
  5. Rich

    It's about time, but I'm hoping for even bigger cuts to one of the largest jobs programs in the world.
    Get them back here and rebuild some bridges and roads, or something.

    January 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • I Hate Criminal Bureaucrats

      Every dirty criminal bureaucrat who voted to spend what American could not afford need to be identified, tracked, and JAILED for intentional fiance fraud against the taxpayers.

      January 16, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  6. FREE BRAINCANCER(ELECTRODES) FORYOUANDYOURFAMILY

    MILLIONS TO BE ASSASSINATED FOR THE SAKE OF $$$ LIABILITIES(mk-ultra, chip implants, electroshocks etc. performed on them) AND NEW WORLD ORDER(multiculturalism = terrorism) POLITICAL AGENDA KNOWN AS "YOU ARE NEXT"(financial liabilities are 2 expensive for the government and it is cheaper to get read of you instead) !!! IF YOU WERE TREATED WITH ELECTROSHOCKS OR DRUGS USED FOR WIPING OUT MEMORY(numerous Americans and Europeans were and are) AFTER ENDURING FORCED CHIP IMPLANTS(exactly how BRAIN CANCER and homeless people are produced), YOU ARE SCHEDULED NEXT !!!

    NOW YOU KNOW WHAT ORWELLIAN UNITED STATES CONGRESS(USSR#2 which consists of lawyers or what are liars and physicians as well as family member of health efected individuals...Why lawyers !!? So crime per physicians OR WHAT IS HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION can get away with it) AND OTHER GOVERNMENTS WORLDWIDE ARE SOOO BUSY WITH WHEN PLAYING/CLOWNING(acting) IN FRONT OF CAMERAS ONLY HOW SOMETHING HAVE TO BE DONE(deliberately omitting/delaying facts of genocide as seen on this complain) NO DIFFERENT FROM ROMNEY'S FATHER WHO EXCELLED AFTER GM WAS DELIBERATELY SCREWED/BANKRUPT(LIKE AMERICA TODAY = success based on deliberate sabotage = known as grand treason) !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    LEARN TRUTH ABOUT UNITED NATIONS, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL AS WELL AS NEW WORLD ORDER(MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM) GOVERNMENTS(Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) !!! NOT THERE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, BUT TO DENY YOUR RIGHT TO EXISTENCE !!!

    ABDUCTIONS / FORCED BRAIN CHIP IMPLANTS / BLACKLISTING / FORCEFUL UNEMPLOYMENT / MK-ULTRA BRAINWASHING AGAINST WHITE(under "NAZI" lie) CIVILIAN POPULATION TODAY IN 2011/2012 ACROSS THE EUROPE AND NORTHERN AMERICA !!!

    http://myshortbiography.blogspot.com/

    WHY TO ACCEPT LIABILITIES FOR CRIMES COMMITTED WHEN WE CAN SIMPLY ASSASSINATE OUR VICTIMS(YOU) THANKS TO HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS AND FREE PRESS/MEDIA(most severe censorship of genocide ever !!!)!! Related to WHITES NO LONGER WELCOME IN AMERICA

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_xGfYOAydjw&w=640&h=390]
    OR
    http://www.youtube.com/user/BostjanAvsec OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009 !!! EXILING WHITES(US citizens) WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE AND IMPORTING NON WHITES IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FREE !!!

    January 14, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  7. Kerry

    About time, I'm sure the US can do even better than this, keep cutting and watch the savings.

    January 14, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
  8. Dan

    Not impressed with the lack of detail.

    The 4 remaining brigades in Europe are an Airbone Brigade in North italy, and 2 heavy brigades and a medium brigades (Stryker), there has been a debate about removing the 2 heavy brigades since 2004 at least, since 2003 at least one of them and sometimes both would be in Iraq. At present both are in Afghanistan clearly they are what will be returned from Europe.

    The bigger debate is if the US Army in Europe is 37,000 and 4 Brigades of 3,500 so 14,000 combat troops what are the other 13,000 doing and do they need to be in Europe to do it?

    January 14, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Sveta Westerwelle

      Warning, warning beware! From Interpol to the section of the composition of the European group. This information is privacy. Please remove and introduce a ban on publication.

      January 14, 2012 at 11:47 am | Reply
    • Mal

      What are the other 13.000 doing? Actually that is kind of a small number to support combat troops. They are admin, medical, transportation, military police, maintenance, engineers, grave registration folks, cooks, communication types and on and on required to support a combat soldier in the field. You never served, did you?

      January 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  9. BANGASH

    FIRST WISE STEP IN US HISTORY, SPECIALLY AFTER THE END OF SECOND WORLD WAR, HOWEVER THERE IS A LONG WAY TO REPLACE WHAT WARS IN WORLD USUALLY CONTRIBUTE TO US ECONOMY, IN THE SHAPE OF US MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX (MIC), UNIVERSAL WEAPONS SUPPLIERS, IN OTHER WORDS THE DEATH MERCHANTS.
    No doubt President Obama successfully played with American public opinion by deceiving them in the name of CHANGE however now 70% Americans are against the war mongers in PENTAGON and hate to live on denying the right to live to the other weak and poor nations in the world. They now hate to be known as just killers therefore CHANGE IS NO MORE AVOIDABLE. The only way is a return to what Americans forefathers had promised to the world and had erected the statue of liberty as a monument of their commitment to the world peace and prosperity. Peace, universal justice and fraternity had been American national ideals which commit Americans to concentrate on world trade and avoid alliances to avoid wars. Is it not stupid that billions of dollars of American taxpayers are spent on deaths and destruction of human beings all over the world and making Americans as a nation a symbol of hate? According to UN survey the billions of dollars spent in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan if had been spent on human welfare projects it would have enabled every individual on the earth to get clean drinking water, free food and education. So the difference is clear and after all it is for Americans to decide whether to continue as killers or CHANGE to saviors, in other words live to be loved or hated.

    January 14, 2012 at 5:07 am | Reply
  10. danny

    about time, its like a free government vacation all expenses paid

    January 14, 2012 at 4:15 am | Reply
    • Mal

      Yes, they are currently vacationing in Afghanistan, prior to that they were in Iraq. Their home base in not their work base nowadays

      January 15, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
    • Nate

      Yes, government vacation. Your one of the people that have no idea what its like to serve. My 4 years over there were usually 60+ hour work weeks while working for pay that barely puts me over food stamps in the states. You sir, need to keep your mouth shut about the men and women that protect your right to say this garbage.

      January 16, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
  11. Harry Tank

    One (big) beer to go please!

    January 13, 2012 at 9:30 pm | Reply

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