Hagel: ‘We Still Need Bases’ in Europe

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, May 7, 2013Excerpts from remarks by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and Kenneth Feinberg, February 18, 2014.

MR. FEINBERG: Mr. Secretary, do we still support U.S. bases in Europe, and what percent are they of the respective deficit defense budget?

SEC. HAGEL: Well, first of all, they’re a very, very small percentage of the budget — the deficit — but because, for example, we closed 80 percent of our bases in Europe in the last few years.

And we still need bases. We still need operations because when you think about it, the problems in the world are not the United States.’ The problems in the world are elsewhere.

And we need some bases so that we have got platforms and assets and forces that we can respond — whether it’s the Middle East or — or whether it’s North Africa, or wherever these problems are — to protect our embassy.

So, you — so, you need some. And we’ve done a tremendous job on this, I think, of closing these places down that we don’t need, using the ones that we do need.

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Image: Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, May 7, 2013 (photo: Glenn Fawcett/DoD)