U.S. Force Posture in Europe


  • Peter Walpole, Associate, Booze Allen Hamilton
  • Maj Gen Paul Schafer, Director of Strategy, Policy and Assessments, U.S. European Command
  • Kori Schake, Distinguished Chair of International Security Studies, West Point Academy
  • Jim Townsend, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Europe and NATO
  • Gen (Ret.) Chuck Wald, Aerospace and Defense Industry Director, Deloitte Services, Atlantic Council SAG Member

IAN BRZEZINSKI:  We’ll kick off on our next panel, “U.S. Perspectives on Force Posture.”  And I have the pleasure of introducing a colleague of mine from Booz Allen Hamilton, Peter Walpole.  Peter brings a long career in the U.K. navy, where he retired as a commodore.  In that capacity, he also served as the deputy commander of a U.S. strike fleet down in Norfolk.  And Peter now supports us in Booz Allen in our NATO and our combatant command markets.  Peter?

PETER WALPOLE:  Ian, thank you very much, and good morning everybody.  And my thanks to the Atlantic Council for putting together such a stellar panel for me to be able to moderate this morning.  My thanks also to the Romanian ambassador last night for the dinner.  I took a look at the EUCOM Web site before I took over this role, and there’s a very interesting Google Earth, sort of, rather imperial perspective of that hemisphere.  And you can roll your mouse over the various nations.

And I learned that – in case you didn’t realize, I’m from the United Kingdom – and my nation is described as, “slightly smaller than Oregon.”  (Laughter.)  That description, I’m pleased to say, I actually share with Romania.  (Laughter.)  So last night was a meeting of the minds.  I will introduce each of the panelists in succession, and then I will ask them to say a few words as the introduction.  And I’m sure you’re all keen to get to the question and discussion session, so if I could please ask the panelists to constrain their initial comments to five minutes, I think that would be most helpful for all of us. 

The panelists are wired, both practically and metaphorically – (laughter) – so you should be able to hear what they’re saying, amplified.  And I’ll start, if I may, with Gen. Paul Schafer, the director of plans and policy at U.S. European Command in Stuttgart.  An A-10 pilot and a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Fighter Weapons School, he was previously the assistant for regional affairs in the office of the secretary of defense for international security affairs, European and NATO affairs. 

And prior to his current assignment, was the director of special programs, office of the undersecretary of defense for acquisition.  Gen. Schafer is a command pilot with more than 2,700 hours, primarily in the A-10, which I think its NATO reporting name is, wonderfully, warthog.  And he’s flown more than 40 combat missions over southern Iraq.  General, thank you for joining us here at the panel.

Next to him is Dr. Kori Schake, distinguished chair of international security at West Point.  Dr. Schake is a research fellow at the Hoover Institute and an associate professor of international security studies at the U.S. Military Academy.  During the 2008 presidential election, she was a senior policy advisor to the McCain-Palin campaign, responsible for policy development and outreach in the areas of foreign and defense policy.

And from 2007 to 2008, she was the deputy director for policy planning in the State Department.  In addition to staff management, she worked on resourcing and organizational effectiveness issues, including a study of what it would take to transform the State Department so as to enable integrated political, economic and military strategies.  And I think we’ve heard something of that already today, so welcome. 

Next, Mr. Jim Townsend, deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy.  Jim is responsible for managing the day-to-day defense relationship between the United States, NATO, the EU and the nations of Europe.  And his pedigree includes, in the ’90s, Jim was political director of the European and NATO policy, later, and director of NATO policy, and before that, director of the defense plans division at the U.S. mission to NATO in Brussels, Belgium. 

So again, what an extraordinary panel we have here.  And last, but by no means least, Gen. Chuck Wald.  He’s director and senior advisor to aerospace and defense industry practice for Deloitte Services, but you probably also, or maybe better, know him as a former deputy commander of European Command in Stuttgart.  And Gen. Wald has combat time both as a forward air controller in Vietnam and as an F-16 pilot flying over Bosnia.

And apart from the fact that he’s a footballer of some note, I would also point out that he commanded the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Airbase in Italy, and on August the 30th, 1995; he led one of the wing’s initial strike packages against the ammunition depot at Paulje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in one of the first NATO combat operations.  So with two people currently serving and supporting today’s business and two who, perhaps, have the luxury of being able to comment more broadly from the sidelines; can I ask you to welcome our panel?  (Applause.)  And if I could please start with Mr. Jim Townsend.

JIM TOWNSEND:  Well, thank you very much.  One part of my résumé there that you missed was that I worked here at the Atlantic Council for two years, running this international securities program.  And so once again, it is great to be back at the Atlantic Council with lots of old colleagues, particularly here on this panel.  Kori and Paul Schafer, Gen. Wald, who – we worked so closely the past couple years on issues – it’s great to be with you all, and with many friends out there.

And I’d like to just start off and thank Booz Allen, certainly, for taking this on.  And it’s important for us to have a discussion about this, as well as the nuclear program, I think, that ISP is going to host in a few weeks to talk about nuclear issues.  Because as we look at Europe and we look at our relationship in Europe, both as United States, as well as within the alliance, as well as, now, dealing with the EU, post-Lisbon, the scenario has shifted so much from the days where I was in the Pentagon, previously, as a civil servant. 

Two years here at the Atlantic Council, back as a political appointee, and the landscape could not be more different for someone like me, who used to know Europe one way, and it’s different now.  I know Janine gave a very good discussion earlier on about U.S. global force posture, what the administration is looking at, in terms of – you know, coming from the QDR and the various reviews underway.  And so obviously, I agree with everything she said on that.

But as the guy trying to handle Europe, and our relations with Europe, and trying to address European security concerns – and there are many and disparate as you look across – from the bird’s eye view, as you were pointing out, looking at Europe, you go to various countries, you hear various concerns, different suggestions on approaches, whether they’re a NATO ally or they’re just in the EU, but also in the partnership for peace.  We’re finding that the newness of the European security environment is just as new to them as it is to me, coming back into government.

And trying to develop tools, develop policies, develop initiatives, make the best use of the infrastructure that we have already from the older days, whether it’s NATO, whether it’s the EU, whether it’s the OSCE, whether it’s U.S. force posture – the troops that we have and the U.S. force structure that we have in Europe.  How can we make best use of those existing institutions, of the forces that we have there?  How can we use these to handle this new security scene that we see, and new threats and issues we know we’re going to have to deal with in the next 10 years? 

We wrestle with that everyday.  And what’s good about a new administration in the first year is – well, it’s good and bad – the good news is, we get a chance to go through reviews and look at force posture, look at nuclear posture, look at – for NATO, we’re due for a new Strategic Concept.  There’s an opportunity for us to really sit back and take stock and see where we should go.  And we’re doing that. 

The bad news is, that takes a lot of time, and I’m just racing around from meeting to meeting, looking at the various – going from nukes to missile defense to Strategic Concept, all in the course of a day, which is why my hair’s even grayer and fewer up on the top of my head than it was when I was at the Atlantic Council and why, Damon, I do want to switch jobs with you as soon as we can.  (Laughter.)  You can go back into the beast.

So what we’re trying to figure out, if we’re dealing with cyber, if we’re dealing with out-of-area operations – we’ve learned so much within the alliance, and nations have, from Afghanistan.  There’s a lot of lessons learned we’re trying to incorporate, too.  And so as we look at U.S. force posture, as an American, as the U.S. guy sitting at NATO talking to EU members downtown, as they are wrestling with what their structure should look like, in dealing with issues from, just, a purely European perspective, we’re trying to sort out efficiencies. 

We’re trying to sort out, particularly as we deal with the Strategic Concept, how can we take into account views that you might hear in Estonia versus views that you might hear in Italy versus views that you might hear in the U.K. or in Canada, or in the United States?  How can we reassure nations that feel nervous?  How can we deal with the financial crisis that so many other nations are feeling when it comes to their national force structure? 

How, at NATO, can we make best use of national force structure at a time when NATO itself is having a financial problem with common funds?  How can we use common funds more creatively?  How can we manage funds?  We’re finding out at NATO right now that we’ve got to make much more reform in the management side than we ever thought.  When we were dealing with just the capabilities side, there’s a management problem at NATO that’s very large, that we’re tackling now, but is something that has not been on the top of the reform agenda in the past; it’s been capabilities.

So the – so for me, on a day-to-day basis, as I look at U.S. force posture in Europe, as I look at how NATO needs to restructure, as I look at how NATO and the EU now need to do things in a very efficient, collaborative and cooperative way, just because of the funding shortfalls – as I look at these things and then think about, how can we make sure that NATO is seen to be as credible today, and in 10 years, as it has been in the past, and then ensuring that credibility by showing that we’re tackling the issues that are new, that are cyber – issues that are not necessarily new, but concern a lot of allies.  How can we go about doing that in a financially constrained way?

That’s what we’re trying to put together.  And you will see, as we run up to the Lisbon summit in November, when NATO – as I’m sure you’ve probably already heard and you know this, NATO’s having a major summit where we will produce a new Strategic Concept, we will produce some reforms that you haven’t heard about yet, but that will be coming soon, on both the financial side, as well as on the management side, as well as in command structure. 

As you see what I hope will be a new, collaborative relationship between NATO and the EU, you will see us launching programs that will help us better take on these new challenges, and also make better use of these existing institutions that we have – NATO, EU, OSCE, if you will – that’s certainly on the foreign ministers side.  But you’re going to see us try to make better use of what we have in Europe to handle these new challenges.  And I’ll stop there.

MR. WALPOLE:  Thank you very much.  Gen. Paul?

MAJ. GEN. PAUL SCHAFER:  Thank you.  It took me 28 years of Air Force service before I finally got to Europe, and for an A-10 guy, that was pretty unusual, because all my friends were there on a fairly routine basis.  We were very well established in both Germany and the United Kingdom, back in the ’80s and the ’90s.  And it came up to me, when I got there, that where you stand on something depends on where you sit. 

And as I got to have my opportunity to work bilateral relations on behalf of the European Command around Europe, you see – and those of you who are from Europe or those of you who have had significant time over there – that there are very interesting challenges in the region that have not gone away, and even though the end of the Cold War happened and we reduced forces, we still have things that we need to be there for – things like the Balkans, where we’re still trying to work to gate two and gate three as a NATO force, and try to establish peace and stability there.

I had no idea where Transnistria was, nor could I spell Nagorno-Karabakh, and we still have to worry about those challenges.  In addition, for your edification, European Command is also responsible for the bilateral relations between the U.S. and Israel, which always presents an interesting challenge.  Central Command has all the countries surrounding Israel.  And our boundaries are unique as well, with both Central Command, Africa Command and Pacific Command on the southern end of Russia, we are the lily pad, if you want to think of it that way, or the means that we can get forces into those regions.

There are no forces in Africa Command right now.  Their headquarters is in Stuttgart with us.  And any forces that would be stationed close enough to Africa, if they are not in the continental United States, would probably be bedded down in the European area of responsibility.  So it’s an interesting perspective that, not only do we worry about our own region, but we worry about our fellow combatant commands’ regions. 

As we talk about force posture in there – and we spent a considerable amount of time, under Gen. Craddock’s direction, when the QDR developed, and working with Janine’s team to try to present the case that is our perspective in European Command.  And we put people in the Pentagon weeks at a time, and just rotating back and forth, so we could cover all the meetings in person, as opposed to having to do them by VTC. 

The case we tried to make is that the best military advice of four straight European Command commanders, who co-shared SACEUR – and that would be Gen. Ralston as the Rumsfeld determinations were made, then following him, Gen. Jones, now the national security advisor, Gen. Craddock and, most recently in his testimony to Congress this past week, Adm. Stavridis, is that the force posture we have now is what they believe, from a permanently stationed force posture, in addition to our rotational forces, which are naval force or Marine forces, is the proper amount to do the missions that the U.S. government and Department of Defense has assigned us.

So I think that we’re trying to make the case and we’ll continue to make the case.  We’ve had support on that from, both, our friends in Department of State, from our friends in NATO and from European allies, many of whom have written back to their counterparts in the United States and said, we think this is about right, too.  This is our perspective.  And I think that we will continue to try to make the best case for the U.S. government and let the U.S. government decide what that force posture needs to be.

MR. WALPOLE:  Well, thank you very much.  Kori?

KORI SCHAKE:  (Coughs.)  Excuse me.

MR. TOWNSEND:  Overcome with emotion.  (Laughter.)

MS. SCHAKE:  Indeed.  Let me start out by saying that I think it’s important to have a conversation about the size of U.S. force structure in Europe in the context of the fact that these countries are our closest friends in the world, countries that we not only agree to trade my hometown’s security in order to protect, but that Lisbon and Berlin promise to do the same thing for us, and in fact, have done that for us. 

And so there is often a lot of reckless talk – and as a veteran of the Bush administration and the Rumsfeld years – in a way, that is unhelpful to what the actual solutions to this problem are.  And I very much hope that, as we have a conversation about future force posture, we think about it in terms of the fact of not scoring cheap points, but in fact, we like these people, and they like us, and we do a lot of important work together in the world.

That said, Dwight Eisenhower would be rolling in his grave that we still have U.S. troops in Europe 60 years after he argued to Congress this was a useful temporary measure while the Europeans strengthened their own defenses to handle their challenges.  And it does seem to me that, given the nature of European security – namely the end of the Cold War in Europe in its most dangerous dimensions – with apologies, Gen. Schafer, if the last four Supreme Allied Commanders Europe believed that the force was just about right, given how different the perspective on security looks from across those four, it sounds to me like you’re giving the answer as X equals 12 because we have 12. 

And I think, myself, that we often overstate the importance of military basing to these broad relationships.  Janine Davidson, I thought, brought this out really well.  It’s the nature of the relationship – it’s the hard work that she and Jim and other folks do to make sure that we are holding hands with our closest friends in the world that creates the dynamic.  And I would just offer as, what seems to me the proof of this, that the countries that were the most help for the wars we are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan are not the countries where U.S. forces are based in Europe.  So it should tell you something about whether this is the lever – the conveyor belt – that carries the political value of the relationships.  I personally think we overstate it.

Here are eight factors I think we ought to keep in mind as we think about what the right size for U.S. force posture in Europe is.  First, money – not only because our country is deeply in debt and we’ve got to get ourselves out of it.  And in that regard, that argues for the status quo.  We have an enormously large and wonderful basing, training, infrastructure in Europe that it would be extraordinarily expensive to build in Utah or Texas.  And so, at a minimum, that argues for transition time.

The other thing is, though, that the money cuts the other way, which is the burden-sharing argument.  And it’s a very hard case to make to my mom that we need to have troops in Europe when Europeans don’t have the political will to spend what, in our judgment, they ought to be spending on their own defense.  So that cuts both ways. 

The second factor is access.  And this goes to – when I mean access, I mean usability.  I mean, not just, as Jackie Davis mentioned, the problems of the 4th ID in Turkey, but the Italians refusing us access to American troops in Italy unless we declared the Iraq War a humanitarian operation?

The country that has taken a lot of criticism over the Iraq war that deserves an enormous amount of credit on this part is Germany, because for not only because American families felt safe and protected; the Germans facilitated what they disagreed we should do in all sorts of ways that were helpful to do it.  Try and imagine any American military operation without Rhein-Main Airbase.  Moreover, when the Belgians sought to close Belgian ports to us for the Iraq, it was the German defense minister who persuaded them against that.  So access and usability. 

Third factor – security.  Spoke to this a little bit on the Germany case, but not only are American bases targets in some countries, but do families feel safe, especially with the tempo at which American soldiers, sailors and airmen and Marines are away from home?  Are their families safe and comfortable?

OPTEMPO and PERSTEMPO – the American military’s extraordinarily busy, and has been for almost a decade, fighting what we used to call two major regional contingencies.  And they’re likely to be busy for a long time.  Does that mean that Army families are as happy being posted in Germany as they were when that meant you were actually spending time together as a family? 

I don’t know the answer to that, but it does seem to me that operating tempo, if we’re going to have rotational forces in Eastern Europe, but not stationed forces, does that mean families are in Germany but they never get to see the servicemembers?  I think we need to think our way through those things – not just how hard is it on the soldiers, but how hard is it on their families?

Fourth?  Fifth, training.  Some countries, in particular Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia, did a virtuoso job of using the Iraq and Afghan campaigns to improve their ability to train with the United States.  The Polish built themselves a non-commissioned officer corps, where they didn’t have one.  And I took an unscientific poll of some of my military colleagues, and the training opportunities that they feel like they have in Germany, in Poland, Romania and Bulgaria, are high value.

Given, though, how much training is in demand for things that we need to do in the Philippines, all over the world, it’s not clear that the training opportunities – the time and effort we are putting into training relationships with NATO allies – is actually the best use of that scarce resource because many allied governments aren’t going to be involved in the campaigns that we are most concerned about training folks to be able to do.

Sixth, speed of war plan execution.  And Secretary Rumsfeld is unpopular and undiplomatic, but that doesn’t make him always wrong.  And on the speed of war plan issue, which was – I was a little bit involved in it in my time on the NSC – was the major driver of the repositioning of U.S. troops in Secretary Rumsfeld’s time. 

Our expectations of the time in which we are going to be able to do what we say we need to do are accelerating.  Moreover, it’s not clear, as Secretary Rumsfeld kept pointing out, why we need weather forecasters in South Korea when they can do that job in Ohio.  The American military’s changed, and we need to think seriously about what capabilities we want forward, and what we want to come.

Seventh, protection and reassurance – that is, making countries that we care about, that feel scared, less so.  There, I think that, that’s an enormous argument for overseas basing.  It’s not clear to me it’s an argument for basing U.S. forces in Europe, where they currently are, as opposed to other places.  And finally, geography.  Logisticians tell you that distance is unconquerable, and there’s something to that.  Having troops in Germany makes it easier to go to Lithuania than having troops in Texas does.

And to the extent that you care about our ability to get troops to Africa, having them in Italy matters.  So in conclusion, I think there are strong arguments for changes to the force structure we have in Europe, both in size and location, and those are, I think, the main variables we ought to look at as we examine.

MR. WALPOLE:  Thank you very much.  Gen. Wald.

GEN. (RET.) CHUCK WALD:  Yeah, thanks.  I think, kind of a general comment from a military perspective, I agree with most everything that’s been said.  I thought it was really good to hear Janine talk in terms that I understood – strategically, it was really good.  It was interesting to hear Paul Schafer talk about A-10 and 20 years getting to Europe.  That’s not surprising for an A-10.  (Laughter.)

MAJ. GEN. SCHAFER:  I spent a lot of time in remedial training.

GEN. WALD:  You know, they used to say, why does an A-10 have to stop in Lajes on the way to Europe for a deployment?  They had to get a haircut.  (Laughter.)  Anyway, enough of that.

MS. SCHAKE:  He could use one, by the way.

MAJ. GEN. SCHAFER:  That’s why they have a big golf course in the Azores.

GEN. WALD:  So everybody has an opinion, and I think that’s good.  I think everybody that’s here cares about Europe and NATO and this whole issue.  So the going-in position is, we kind of all generally agree there’s something there.  So maybe perspective from my angle would be helpful a little bit.  And I think how things come down make a difference, and how things are perceived, or historical perspective sometimes makes a difference.

The fact of the matter was that – and I agree with Kori that Secretary Rumsfeld doesn’t get enough credit for actually trying to change a situation.  I think that was hugely beneficial.  I mean, where I come from is this – and everybody’s got their angle, and I’ll just tell you what I was thinking as the deputy commander who worked for Jim Jones.  In 1989, the world changed based on the elections in Poland.  Klaus, you were there.

And it was dramatic.  And President Bush, then, said a new world order.  And for those that are kind of interested in this type of thing, I study it.  I’m interested.  The new world order has not even shaken out yet.  We’re still ordering up here.  And when we arrived in Europe, Jim and I, back to back in 2003, primarily, the new world order in Europe was what it had been when it was left.  Frankly, we still had a war plan called 32,000 – (inaudible) – on the books.  That was our war against the Soviet Union –t he Warsaw Pact.  Think about it. 

I mean, we had not adjusted our plans one bit.  And so Secretary Rumsfeld was right – shake it up a little bit.  So we shook it up.  It was Jim Jones, myself, B.B. Bell, Brock Johnson (sp) and Speedy Martin in a room together saying, okay, what are we going to do?  And the approach was, let’s be bold.  Let’s think about why do we need, you know, an armored division in Europe, et cetera.  So there was a discussion about, why don’t we start doing rotational forces? 

Everybody thought that was a great idea.  I thought it was a crazy idea, because you mix things up.  So Kori talked about OPSTEMPO, PERSTEMPO – I mean, I saw this when I was in NATO earlier, when we started doing Bosnia.  And the NATO countries – our allies – said you know, we need to be in there and start rotating our forces into the headquarters.  That’s a good idea.  That lasted about one rotation, and then you’re tired of it. 

And so for us rotating into Bulgaria or Romania, you might get one and that’s it.  So my feeling – I voted against it.  I said keep the status quo, at least, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.  So a couple, kind of, flippant clichés:  virtual presence is actual absence – no doubt about it.  That’s for sure.  Two, we have not predicted anything right yet in the United States ever, nor has NATO or anybody else.  (Laughter.)  I’m serious.  So I kind of like to hedge, as a military guy.

From a NATO commander standpoint, I think it was really a huge mistake to draw down the – and this is not a personal issue; I’m not the deputy commander – but to not have the deputy commander of NATO that’s a four-star, or in European Command, is a huge mistake, regardless of how many countries you have.  Jim Stavridis – doesn’t matter how good you are; he’s brilliant – doesn’t have time to take care of other issues that are U.S.  So there, for sure, needs to be looked at.

On the other hand, the SACEUR, being both the EUCOM commander and the NATO commander is a wonderful thing, because you can turn your hat back and forth in a millisecond, as far as using EUCOM staff as a very heavily important help to his NATO job.  But also, he can use the bully pulpit of making sure that Europe does things that we, as the United States, would like to kind of see them help with. 

And so a couple things that we need to be careful of:  One of the things that I used to say in Europe all the time, in our command, was you know, you can’t have it both ways.  When we like NATO, it’s us and when we don’t like them, it’s them.  (Laughter.)  You know, it doesn’t work.  You’re part of it or not, and you’re always part of it.  And so when people say, you know, maybe we ought to bring our forces home – you know, kind of an isolationist approach – and Kori kind of alluded to it – I mean, who’s protecting my home?  Give me a break.

I’m not worried about – in the United States, about military forces outside Fort Bragg protecting my city.  That’s not what they’re there for.  So I think the idea that we asked the Europeans to go to Afghanistan, thank you very much – 30,000 is not trivial – that we should expect to be out there, too, forward-deployed.  I mean, if our philosophy is, you need to get out and kind of address the issues forward, you need to be preventative – I think this whole new philosophy that’s come out through the QDR that’s been growing over the years that prevention means something is very, very important.

We believe that in European Command.  We had a study done by the GAO that said for every dollar of prevention you spent, you saved $10 in reaction.  The question is, where do you do the prevention?  You’ve got to still be smart.  So I briefed that at the European parliament for one day, and at lunch with the parliamentarian afterwards, he said, you know, this prevention thing’s a good idea.  I like it.  The problem is, we can’t do that here, because we could never get credit for preventing something, because you never knew it happened.  So I can’t get a constituency.  What a crazy idea, you know.

So you should be out there preventing and acting on things, and we should be forward-deployed.  The idea that our forces are basically tied – or fenced in – and Kori’s mentioned the overflight of Austria, and how there’s – there isn’t any absolute, ever, on anything.  I’ve learned that there’s no single solution for many things, there’s always a downside – so there’s probably a whole bunch of things.  As far as forward-deployed forces, I like being 3,000 miles closer to my problem. 

Number two is, yes, there was a problem flying over Austria, and Italy made an issue out of flying out of there into – by the way, we did finally fly out of Northern Italy into Northern Iraq and dropped – first time U.S. soldiers had jumped into combat since World War II, by the way.  So that worked over time – takes a little engagement.  But the Germans, as Kori said, were wonderful.  The troops in Europe got on a train, drove to Bremerhaven or to Belgium with their equipment – and oh, by the way, loaded, so they had munitions on the weapons.  The tanks had munitions in them.  And German guards were on the trains.

In America, at Fort Hood, in Corpus Christie, we had to decouple the weapons from the tanks, et cetera, had to ship them separately – took actually 14 to 21 days longer, because you’ve got to drive them to a port, you couldn’t have them coupled up – OSHA standards – then you had to put them on separate ships, then you had to put them over, try to find a port and mate them up. 

Okay, that’s the way it is.  You know, but this idea that you’ve got access to your troops – (inaudible) – is not all it’s made up to be.  And by the way, there’s a SOFA in place that says we’ll be able to do that, unless it’s addressed specifically by the German parliament.  So if it isn’t addressed, you get on a train and go.  So you’ve got to kind of look back at what we’ve had.

The other thing is, what is the world now, today?  It is different.  We don’t know for sure what it is, but we knew there’s different threats and different problems and different modus operandi.  And we do have a new way to fight, as Janine pointed out, and there’s probably – you’ve got to hedge toward the latter.  But you know, we talk about the Europeans, again, at the Prague summit, I think there were six different steps we asked NATO to upgrade themselves – strategic airlift, strategic intelligence, et cetera, et cetera. 

And somebody mentioned – I think it was you, Harlan – the tanker issue.  And I think that this debate across the pond is unfortunate because I think the DOD probably did the best they could on RFP.  But you know, I used to tell the Europeans – I’d go to Algeria and the Algerians had 12 IL-76s, plus some IL-76 tankers.

And at that time, that was three times the amount of airlift that NATO had, minus the United States.  So it’s kind of fun to jab them.  Of course, on the other hand, why is that?  During the Cold War, NATO was in place; they didn’t need airlift.  We did.  That’s why we bought it, okay.  And so it’s not as simple as it sounds.  And by the way, we slap around NATO and Europe, but they’re going to buy the A-400.  Now, you can say that’s a subsidy; they’re getting it.  They’re buying strat lift.  So you’ve got to keep your perspective, I think, as you go through there.

Yeah, well, hey, you know, they’re going to buy their airlift.  What are you going to do with it, you know?  The MDA – again, politics all the way.  It’s unfortunate because, you know, the Bush administration did one thing, Obama comes in, they do another thing, and it’s all about points.  Frankly, we need an MDA all through there.  And ironically, I kind of like the new approach – been a little more flexible.  We just didn’t handle it very well when we announced it, but there should be that.

And not only that:  We ought to extend it off to be involved with the Middle East in this thing.  That’s a new part of way of doing business for NATO, I think.  So that’s the new world.  So I’d go back and say, keep perspective.  I mean, the going-in position is, we care.  WE know that there’s a collective defense required.  We have people that are smart, thinking about it.  They’re sacrificing in government.  But I think, you know, don’t get too emotional about one or the other; it probably needs to be a hybrid.  So I’d leave it at that.

MR. WALPOLE:  General, thanks very much.  Jim, do you want to just come back on one point?

MR. TOWNSEND:  Just to come back and kind of pull this all together, if you will, I think it’s obvious to all of you that, really, what we’re talking about up here is not a political thing.  It’s not a Democrat thing or a Republican thing or a Rumsfeld thing or a Gates thing.  We’ve all worked this for years with each other.  I have lots of bosses out there – two sitting right there from two different parties that I worked very closely with. 

And I think what’s important is what Janine said – and I think the general brought this out and so did Kori – a lot of what we’re doing right now in this administration, while there might be some different perspectives because new people coming in who happen to be Democrats, parts of this administration – but a lot of these are old issues we have worked for years. 

And a lot of the good ideas that we’re implementing and a lot of the things that shape what we’re doing today – what we might be saying in the Strategic Concept or about U.S. force posture – are ideas and things and issues that were hatched under Rumsfeld, or even before Rumsfeld. 

I mean, there’s a lot that we’re doing today that pulls upon work done by good people in prior administrations that we will then hand over to our successors, who might come on.  And they might bring in a little bit different perspective, which is what’s good about the U.S. system, frankly, is that you do need, periodically, new perspectives.  I just hope that when that comes, I’m ready to have another job.  (Laughter.) 

But the important point for all of you all is that there is a lot of unanimity here in terms of what the issues are and how we go about using what we have right now and what we might need.  There might be little differences here and there, but I think the important point here is that we are building on good work that’s gone on before, good analysis. 

Your point about Rumsfeld, I think, is very well.  I’m a veteran of those days, too.  And he came in and shook up a system that needed to be shook up, in terms of thinking about U.S. force posture in Europe and planning – and at NATO, too, we did some very good things at NATO, and under Frank Kramer.  We did some things before then, too.  And we’re building on all those things.  And so this is a continuum, and it will continue to be that way.

MR. WALPOLE:  Thank you.  I know there’s a couple of questions building out there, but if I could just file on in, please, Afghanistan – clearly a very high-profile, huge effort much discussed in Europe and here, as well – but militarily and diplomatically, a fantastic learning environment of how things are done today.  And perhaps, Gen. Paul, I could ask you about the lessons learned coming back from Afghanistan and how those may be influencing what Dr. Davidson referred to as the cooperative tailored approach to the U.S. presence in Europe?

MAJ. GEN. SCHAFER:  Well, I think that we found, as we asked through our State Department for allies to join us in Afghanistan, that we had willing allies in Eastern Europe with less capability, less-willing allies in Western Europe with more capability. And the work that was done, from an inter-government level, was to bring all of those together. 

Our specific role was to try to take allies who wanted to make a commitment, but either didn’t have the current training or troops or equipment and try to bring them up to a NATO standard that allowed them to go and be a productive member of ISAF.  Many of our allies get bashed about a little bit because they have caveats in their employment.  And we work to reduce the caveats; we would like everyone to be equal in their actions.  But not everyone will be, and we were able to use, as Gen. Wald mentioned, those 25,000-plus allies in different roles.

If a country had a role that they said, we will not do combat operations, we could put them in a position in Afghanistan where they didn’t have to do combat operations; if they said they would not to counter-drug, we could put them in a position where they didn’t have to do counter-drug.  But we could use all those capabilities.  That ability that you have to train and ally and have them go and understand – you know, one of the ways that you teach friends and partners is, you show them how you do it.  And the fact that we were able to work together to make that improves the capabilities, I think, of all of us.

MR. WALPOLE:  General, thank you.  We’ve got about 15 minutes –

GEN. WALD:  Can I make a comment on that, just real quick, as a perspective?

MR. WALPOLE:  Of course, General.  (Laughter.)

GEN. WALD:  First of all, I admire Paul and what he’s doing, but just a real quick comment, as perspective.  And what you just said, I would never argue with, but it was purely from a U.S. perspective – 100 percent – and this is an alliance. 

So we had a huge debate in American – public debate – what are we going to do about Afghanistan?  And I trust the people that made the debate; they did a good job.  And then the expectation is, by Americans, okay, we’ve decided; now Europe, let’s go.  What the hell is that all about?  (Laughter.)  We’re an alliance.  They vote, too.  They decide –

MS. SCHAKE:  Again, there was nothing that prevented them having that discussion at the same time we were having that discussion, as well.

GEN. WALD:  I’m just saying this:  Don’t ever think that the United States, because of who we are, tells NATO what to do.  If you’re a partnership, you’re a partnership.  And if we’re not going to do it that way, then we shouldn’t be there.  Just personal opinion.

Q:  Thanks very much for a really spirited discussion – is this thing on?  Can you hear me in the back?  I want to pose the ultimate nightmare scenario. 

MR. TOWNSEND:  I knew it.  (Laughter.)

MS. SCHAKE:  Yeah, why do we keep giving him the mike?  (Laughter.)

Q:  Suppose each of you was either appointed or elected to the Senate or the House, and now, you are back talking to your angry constituents worried about health care and jobs.  Could you please make the case for NATO and tell me why we need a EUCOM?

MS. SCHAKE:  I’ll take that one.  Because it is much more difficult and much more expensive for the United States to shape the world in positive ways if we don’t have friends who share in our values helping in it.  And they are less likely to help us if we are not routinely, every single day, holding hands, doing joint force planning in NATO, making sure that everybody knows everything about what everybody else is doing.  We will get less help from Europe, not more, without EUCOM and without NATO.  So Jim Townsend’s got to go in there every single day and fight with the Belgians about port access, or else we’re not going to have port access.  And it actually matters.

MR. TOWNSEND:  And if I could follow on –

MS. SCHAKE:  Is that my mom, by the way?  (Laughter.)

MR. TOWNSEND:  It’s a Belgian, I think.  They don’t like the fact that – (inaudible) – Belgium.

MS. SCHAKE:  They deserve it.

MR. TOWNSEND:  Well, we’ve moved beyond that.  I just came back, and we’re in a better time right now.  But Harlan, I think that’s a great question.  And I think Kori absolutely answered it right.  And I guess that’s what I’m getting paid for right now, to do, and that is to make the case that right now, obviously in the United States and in the other alliance nations, too, what’s happening domestically is the most important thing to the people on the street.

For us, it’s health care; in Europe, it’s other things.  I mean, if you go to Greece, the financial situation in Athens is something that is shaking them to the core.  But the point that I would make to Kori’s mom, who seems to be quite a feature in our discussions, what I would make to Kori’s mom is that we have learned some pretty bitter lessons in the past about what happens when we’re not ready and we’re not engaged. 

That while, right now, it might be medical care, it might be No Child Left Behind, all kinds of things – something local – we’re being paid, up here, to keep our eye on those things – those crises that are right around the corner that we’ve got to be ready for right now, and that the person on the street, who’s concerned about their neighborhood schools, which is important, and their own health care, which is important. 

We’ve got to look out for the clouds on the horizon.  We didn’t do a very good job of that in the 1930s and neither did a lot of other nations in Europe.  And if you go back and look at history, the lesson there, no matter what the era, no matter what uniforms were being worn or hairstyles were popular at the time, the constant thread throughout that time is being ready and trying to understand the importance of U.S. leadership, U.S. engagement and building a community – a trans-Atlantic community that can be pulling together when there’s a crisis.

When that crisis comes, we won’t necessarily all be pulling in the same direction – I mean, as Gen. Wald said, it’s hard to do and it’s frustrating, but we have to do it because we know what happens when we don’t.  History is littered with the bones of those examples.  And we’re being paid to keep our eye on that while Kori’s mom is looking at health care.

GEN. WALD:  We have a public diplomacy issue, here, too.  I mean, you know, I think it’s just – it’s the way it is and you can’t help it.  But the perception is those darn Europeans are just kind of feckless.  I mean, they just don’t want to get out there and do it.  Okay, we have 370 million people.  I think in the NATO countries, there are probably 260 (million) or so.  They’ve got 30,000; we’ve got 90,000 troops.  That’s 30,000 troops we don’t need there.  By the way, we’re the ones that decided to go to Afghanistan; not NATO – I mean, not Europe. 

So again, I have issues with Europe.  I’d like to see them spend a little more money on defense and I’d like to see them be more committed and get rid of the caveats and all that stuff, but without them, we’d be hurting.  And I think the public in America needs to know their – we hammer them all the time.  They’re not committed; the Dutch are going home; they won’t send helicopters.  We need to work on that.

MR. TOWNSEND:  And also, though, if I could jump in, Chairman, the general was talking about caveats and the Dutch, and Kori has talked about the Belgians and that type of things.  It’s important for everybody to understand, things don’t stay in stasis, or stasis, if you will.  Things don’t stay the same.  The caveats that Ian, you and I used to hammer allies on – a lot of those caveats are gone.  A lot of the problems and concerns that we’ve had, over time, we turned.  It takes a long time.  You’re always chipping at it.  You’re always knocking a chip off here and there.  But where European participation was in 2003-2004 to where we are today are light years.

And I saw it on both sides, both in the bad days and now, from here.  And so it’s not always a situation where they’re not enough and they’re not doing something about it.  We’re all working this together, and we continue to make progress, but it’s slow, and a lot of times, it’s on something that doesn’t make the headlines, so you don’t see it.

GEN. WALD:  And truth in lending is, by the way, when the decision was made to send troops into Afghanistan in November of 2001, the decision, by then Secretary Rumsfeld – the advice, with Tommy Franks’ agreement – was we were going to send 1500 troops, max – 1500 and that was going to be it.  And that’s what we did.  I’ll tell you, there was a lot of anguish in the JCS – I was in the JCS at the time – and particular services were not happy with that, for good reason.

And so you know, again, historical perspectives – the United States populace is not going to know this – but the United States didn’t commit, big-time, for a long time.  And by the way, we didn’t ask NATO or any ally to send troops in there.  We had Special Ops and that was it.  So if I’m NATO, I’m going hey, you didn’t ask me in the first place; now all of a sudden that it’s going bad, you want me to jump in there, right?  So I mean, I think the debate has to be clarified.  Somebody’s going to have to write the history on this thing and get them clear.

MR. TOWNSEND:  There’s some bum raps out there, but there’s some, though, that aren’t necessarily bum raps.  There are some real problems, and we’ve been working on those.  And we’ve got a lot of work to go, ahead.  I mean, it’s not – this isn’t Pollyanna here, but there’s been movement and that’s got to keep us energized to keep going forward because we know we can bring about movement.

MR. WALPOLE:  Okay, I think we’d like to get some questions now, so Gen. Naumann, please.

Q:  I didn’t want to ask question.  I simply wanted to offer an argument to support you, the panel, in answering Harlan’s – (inaudible).  And I think the example you could take is the example of the Canadian army.  They withdrew from Europe in 1994.  And for the next seven years, they were deployed to Bosnia and Kosovo.  And if you compare the cost, between the deployment from Canada to Europe and the cost it had cost had they stayed in Germany, I think every congressman would be convinced that the forward basing is perhaps a better, more cost-efficient solution. 

MR. WALPOLE:  Thank you very much.  Frank?

Q:  I want to ask the panel to think about going forward.  Everyone knows that, in general, I think, the forward-basing approach is right, but there are two parts I think we really need to think about.  One, Europe is trying to put together its overall defense plan – pretty nascent – but via the EU; how do we integrate what we’re doing with that?  And two, it seems to me we don’t necessarily just want to default, if you will, to four BCTs.  In other words, we all know we have new problems.  Kori laid out a really nice list of factors to be considered.

So how do we think our way through the new problems and what ought to be done, rather than just say, okay, you know, we’re all in favor, here – unanimous vote, stay forward.  Oh, and by the way, that means everyone in place in the same way, you know, forever, forever.  I think – so thinking through how to integrate ourselves with Europe and how to deal with the new problems – and maybe that involves pushing the – as Janine said, it’s not just where you are; it’s how you use it, et cetera – pushing that into the Strategic Concept discussion might be valuable, also.  Just like your thoughts.


MS. SCHAKE:  I have two recommendations, one negative and one positive.  The first is the negative one.  I would not undertake this analysis in the – I would undertake the analysis in a NATO context; I would not do it with the traditional planning sequence because I do not believe we are going to be able to, in the course of, say, the next year, develop a consensus on what the threats that ought to be driving the capabilities are. 

Let me just suggest, we are pretty far from a NATO consensus on the nature of the Russian threat, and what to do about it.  And I fear, if we have a threat-based beginning to this, we’re going to get bogged down and it’s going to be invidious.  So I would avoid that, as the starting point.  I’m an enormous fan of Jack Galvin, and I think in 1991, he served all of us extraordinarily well by not taking on the political issue of whether we wanted to have the capability to operate out of area.

Instead, he very elegantly took the existing political guidance, which is, NATO forces have a requirement to defend the entirety of the NATO area, which means you have to have the ability to get there.  And, as he understood, that if you could get to northern Norway or eastern Turkey, you could also get anyplace else NATO wanted to go.  And I think we need to bring some of that kind of intellectual elegance into a discussion about what capabilities we want to have that we don’t already have.

My top three would be flow-through – that is, speed by which NATO forces, not just U.S. forces, can get where we need to get – cyber and a third would be the constabulary issue – how do we sustain forces over long periods of time?  I would love to see us do the force planning in NATO, actually, rather than have a U.S. study of what we need in Europe and then go to NATO to talk about it. 

I think we actually ought to use the existing NATO force planning process, which is quite rigorous, and have a conversation that, as you suggest, Frank, integrates European and American perspectives from the start so that we don’t go over and say, well, we’ve determined we need to have this capacity, and therefore, we need troops in Romania.  We ought to be talking about what troops the Romanians are going to have, what troops the Bulgarians are going to have – where everybody fits into the mosaic, inherently, from the start. 

MR. TOWNSEND:  I agree with a lot of what Kori just said.  I want to say, first of all, that’s just what Janine and I work on every day.  And in fact, we started working on this from the fist couple of days we got into office.  We began to worry about this and think about this.  And a couple points – one, on what Kori said as far as – and Frank, to your point about the EU and NATO and planning – what’s happened now, because of the money being – two things. 

One, the money being so short in capitals, as well as at the EU and in NATO, in terms of institutions, the days of a fountain of common funds – (chuckles) – is gone.  And so the financial crisis, which is long term and structural, is forcing everybody into economies and efficiencies where political rhetoric kept us back from doing it, particularly in the EU during the days of trying to build this military structure that’s there.   And there was political rhetoric in those days from Washington, from Paris, from Brussels, from all over that really kept us from trying to come to closure on what makes sense practically.

We’re beyond that now – a lot of different reasons.  Politics have changed in various capitals, but the money is driving us to take advantage of this absence of political rhetoric to try to sit down and think about how we go about planning, because we have to.  We can’t afford the duplication that we seemed to accept because it was a political decision 10 years ago.  But we haven’t developed the tools and the cultural relationships to sit down and do it very well.  And so we’ve been talking now – and the Turkish-Cypriot problems aside, which is kind of keeping us from engaging formally –

MS. SCHAKE:  It’s a big aside, though.

MR. TOWNSEND:  Yeah, it is a big aside.  But that would take all day.  But what I want to say here is that events are forcing us – and politics are now allowing us – to sit down and to figure out how we go about developing a planning process that can – these have their own separate approaches because each institution is different – but ways where we connect in to try to have collaborative approaches to, say, just to save money.  Heavy-lift helos is the first example, right now, where we’re trying to have a joint heavy-lift helo program.

During the DCI days – the Defense Capabilities Initiative days – we tried a lot of common-sense things, but I think our timing wasn’t there because nations weren’t ready for it for different reasons.  I think, right now, they’re ready because we have no choice.  So that’s some good news, on that particular front.

MR. WALPOLE:  Jim, thank you.  Paul?

GEN. SCHAFER:  Frank, you know, the BCTs tend to get to the front of the headline because they’re the alligator closest to the boat.  And we keep whacking it or pushing the decision – you know, the 2004 decision got delayed, got delayed, got delayed, and now, we have to make a decision.  And quite frankly, it’s appropriate for both the Department of the Army and European Command to come to some conclusion as to what those are.

I think my boss, Adm. Stavridis, would argue that reshaping the capabilities that he has in Europe, which would be something he’d recognize.  He is, as you know, probably the most out there, as far as the new social networking mediums of any four-star in the United States, and he describes cyber as a sea, like the ocean. 

And he said, it took 2,000 years for sailors from his background to come up with rules of the ocean and how you’re going to pass ships and what the rules are.  And he said, cyber is a sea with no ocean – or, I’m sorry, a sea with no rules.  And until we establish rules, we cannot expect anything good to come out of cyber.  People will take the opportunity to make bad things happen.

GEN. WALD:  Yeah, I think what Paul said – I mean, Stavridis has got it.  I think a couple things.  One is, again, kind of, you get into an either/or a little bit if you’re not careful and I think you’ve got to not lose a little bit of focus on the fact that we probably still need to maintain some conventional capability.  Now, nobody’s arguing about that, but that part of the discussion has really waned, you know.

And for anybody that thinks, because it’s kind of a troglodyte way of doing war, that it’s simple to drive a tank or an airplane, it isn’t.  So you have to maintain a little bit of that capability – a balanced capability.  Because that’s an implied deterrent.  I mean, you just don’t even know the value you get from that.  And so I think as we go down this path of trying to define how we do business, what are the new threats, how do you adjust yourself militarily, those are difficult questions – cyber and irregular warfare – but I think you’re going to have to maintain a balance.

So as we come out of this thing, from a force structure in Europe, whatever that is, I was a fan of having the 1st Armored Division go home, not because I didn’t like them.  But the 1st ID was almost like the 1st AD.  So it just had a little less tank and so we really didn’t lose anything.  And so, I mean, you’ve got to – it’s truth in lending, again.  But I think we need to keep a full spectrum across the board.  And that – the debate on nuclear is going to be very difficult, you know, and those are the types of things we really ought to kind of put some heavy lifting focus on.

MR. WALPOLE:  Thank you.  I think we’ve got time for one more question.  Ian, you indicated a finger earlier.  If you wish to change your mind, let me know.

MR. BRZEZINSKI:  I just wanted to follow on Gen. Wald’s question – or issue – nuclear posture.  And I’d be interested in the administration’s, but also the non-administration perspective, on how relevant are theater nuclear weapons in Europe today?  Are they really needed operationally?  Are they really needed politically?

MR. WALPOLE:  Thank you.

MS. SCHAKE:  Do you want to start, or do you want me to?

MR. TOWNSEND:  You and your mom go.  (Laughter.)

MS. SCHAKE:  Yes, I think they’re needed; yes, I think they’re needed in Europe – and less for operational reasons than for the my-mom reason, because while I very much doubt that the government of Germany or the government of Belgium or the government of the Netherlands would be an enthusiastic supporter of a nuclear mission, the context in which we would be making that decision is such a horrible context that I think, actually, the normal boundaries don’t apply. 

And that, especially if we are talking about reducing conventional forces in Europe at this time – a time when Eastern Europeans feel particularly threatened, where the administration made a clumsy choice about the notifications on missile defenses in a way that has alarmed a lot of people.  You know, missing that it was the day of the Soviet invasion was actually not a small miss, on the notifications.  That was a huge thing, and it’s cultural.  And we’ve got to double-down on the reassurance for a while. 

You don’t necessarily need forces to do that.  But on the nuclear issue, burden-sharing matters hugely, and the effect, not on the stationing countries, but on other countries – in particular, the Central Europeans and Turkey, because if Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy opt out of the nuclear-sharing arrangements, how comfortable is Turkey going to feel as Iran crosses the nuclear threshold?  It’s going to aggravate civil-military debates in Turkey at a difficult time to bear that conversation.  I really think – actually, this is a terrible time to initiative denuclearization conversation with the Europeans. 

One last thing:  the way I would do it – 5,400 Russian tactical nuclear weapons.  NATO’s dropped by 90 percent, since 1991.  They’re down to 200 weapons.  Shared participation actually matters.  To tell my mom that we ought to take responsibility for nuclear deterrence in NATO, but the very countries we are talking about protecting no longer want to opt into that, that’s a hard sell, even for me.


MR. TOWNSEND:  And for your mom, too.  And I would tell your mom that I agree with her daughter – almost everything that she said.  Two points:  One, I think you beat up on us a little bit too much on the missile defense rollout, but I will say that, that was not exactly a shining moment, so I will give you that.  But I think the most important point to just draw attention that you made about the denuclearization of Europe. 

That’s not something that’s going to happen, certainly during my watch, that I can see.  And let me just talk a little bit about some very good points that you made and that Gen. Wald made about conventional forces in Europe – the mix of conventional and nuclear and the importance of deterrence and the importance of how this looks to your mom, and to other moms that are within the alliance structure. 

And I think what we’re doing right now – and Janine will tell you this and other colleagues who do the nuclear side – Michael Knott (sp), Brad Roberts, Jim Miller – where we’ve spent, right now, for the past month, just about every day working exactly this issue, trying to answer Ian’s question, which is, we’re doing the nuclear posture review.  Obviously, that’s about U.S. nuclear forces worldwide.  I’m not sure if Janine mentioned that, but that’s going on.  That nuclear posture review is coming to completion and will be released with a better rollout, I hope, than missile defense.  But it will be released. 

There’s a Europe component to that.  The important part about the Europe component to that is that, frankly, what we do in Europe concerning nuclear forces is something we have to do within the alliance, because this is an alliance thing that we all – the burden-sharing point that Kori made was absolutely right.  There’s an incredibly important burden-sharing aspect.

There is a role for nuclear weapons in Europe, and how we go about the manifestation of that role, how we go about the burden-sharing aspect of that role, how do we incorporate the balance that’s got to be there for conventional forces as well, and to make sure that those nuclear forces that are there are there with a role and a mission that supports deterrence, is key.  And that’s what we’re, right now, trying to balance out and think through.

We have the nuclear posture review that’s going to be released.  We have a high-level group meeting at NATO – the Nuclear Planning Group will meet in June, formally – and then we have the Strategic Concept, where the role of nuclear weapons in the alliance context will be discussed.  I thought Frank Miller, at the NDU conference, gave a very good discussion of that. 

So between now and Lisbon, there’s going to be a lot of work done on the role of nuclear weapons in Europe from a U.S. point of view, and then lots of discussions within the NATO context.  And how we will balance this off and what allies would like to proceed ahead and do – particularly in terms of burden-sharing, those nations engaged – will be decided in the next couple months.

And I will say to the Atlantic Council, you’re having an event on the role of nuclear weapons in Europe is very timely.  So I’d tell your mom that – not to worry.  We’re not going to, all of a sudden, tomorrow, pull all the nukes out.  But the question that Ian raised was spot-on and I think a lot of what you said is currently what we’re debating and trying to reason out.  And Gen. Wald, your points also are coming into the debate, and I think Janine and I will be willing to come back to the Atlantic Council and give views on this when we’re ready to go to the alliance and begin to have the discussion there.

GEN. WALD:  Peter’s not going to let me say this, but it’s got to be in the context of Iran.  And that’s the problem.

MR. TOWNSEND:  Well, I’ll tell you, it is a complex mix of issues that are engaged right now in the role of nuclear weapons in Europe and the role of conventional forces there, and the optics.  So much of deterrence and the credibility of deterrence depends on what it looks like to others on the outside, both your friends, like your mom, as well as to adversaries.  How does it appear?  And we have to be concerned about that optic, and how we go about manifesting that, in terms of physical presence, and how we exercise that in Europe.  And that’s something that we’re wrestling with right now.

MR. WALPOLE:  I’d like to express the thanks of the Atlantic Council to the panel.  I thought that was a very vigorous discussion of many of the issues.  Having now very much heard some of the U.S. positions – and it’s interesting to see the divergence there – I fully anticipate that the panel with the European representatives will give more color and breadth to the divergence of views within Europe that has to be managed and taken care of in any relationship, or any description of Europe.  So if you’d please join me in thanking not only the panel members, but also Kori’s mom.  (Laughter, applause.)

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