La vicenda ucraina, come era prevedibile, sta contribuendo ad un ripensamento della “posture” americana nel continente europeo. Le ultime dichiarazioni del generale Breedlove, comandante NATO in Europa nonchè a capo dell’EuCom statunitense, sono una conferma (da ForeignPolicy.com):
[…] Breedlove thinks there are long-term implications for U.S. policy and its military footprint in Europe as a result of the crisis. Before March, Breedlove’s primary concern was holding the line against cuts to U.S. military personnel in Europe, where there are now about 67,000 troops, down from about 100,000 in 1990. Although the Pentagon has announced no public proposals to draw down U.S. forces, European Command has been seen by some as low-hanging budgetary fruit since before February. During the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the perception of European Command’s operational and strategic importance sharply diminished, leaving it vulnerable to bureaucratic indifference. At the same time, the command has felt the impacts of sequestration and other cuts, with both flying hours and training opportunities for ground forces reduced in recent years.
“For years, [European Command] has been the natural bill payer,” said Mark Jacobson, a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund in Washington, using Pentagon-speak for a command or program forced to accept cuts in favor of other defense programs.
But the crisis in Crimea is helping Breedlove make the case that no further cuts should be made. In fact, he said, the military footprint in Europe should be rethought altogether in light of what has unfolded in recent weeks. Breedlove declined to be specific about how he might want to beef up the U.S. military presence there, but he was adamant that the United States must endeavor to do a comprehensive examination of how the U.S. military is deployed throughout Europe. […]