The Future of the American Military Presence in Europe

  • April 01, 2000
  • COL Lloyd J Matthews
  • COL Lloyd J Matthews

Ten years have elapsed since the fall of the Berlin Wall, which served as a fitting symbol for the end of the Cold War. That historic juncture brought into question the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which has served Alliance members so well since its founding in 1949. It also brought into question the rationale for America's continued deep involvement in European security affairs. With the gradual realization that the Russian menace is essentially dead, at least for the next 10 to 15 years and perhaps longer, and with NATO's missions having evolved well beyond the original purpose of territorial defense, debate on both sides of the Atlantic has begun to intensify concerning the vital issue of where NATO should be headed and America's relation to the Alliance.