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The U.S. is withdrawing one of its brigades from Europe, and looks likely to continue to process, according to the Financial Times.In the wake of the withdrawal, the U.S. still has 80,000 troops in Europe, but that’s down from 300,000 at the height of the Cold War. A stated goal by the U.S. military is to continue the draw-down and allow European countries to takeover for regional security. French and British leadership in Libya is likely also part of this process.
The idea is that the U.S. will move these forces to other places in the world they are needed, notably South Asia and the Middle East. Whether it actually ends up being a cost saving measure is unknown. It may also leave a power vacuum that few countries in Europe can fill, as they struggle with deficits.
The U.S. is still increasing its military spending though, up 1.3% in 2010. With wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, it’s seems unlikely the European drawdown will actually lead to a 2011 reduction in spending.