Defense News quotes Brent Scowcroft Center Deputy Director Magnus Nordenman on US army troop reductions in Europe and the implications for European security:

In Russia’s war with Georgia and in recent military exercises, it demonstrated its ability to mass and move significant forces quickly, which makes a permanent presence particularly valuable, said Analyst Magnus Nordenman, deputy director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.

“The United States is a global power and can lift and move forces over vast distances, but Russia is in the neighborhood already, so that puts a premium on being there as opposed to rotating in,” Nordenman said. “The rotations are better than nothing, but you’re not getting the relationships, you’re not getting a deep sense of the terrain, the environment and conditions that you do when you’re home, so to speak.”

Though Carter notified his German counterpart of the plan, Nordenman said countries closer to Russia — Poland, Romania and the Baltics —​ have more cause for concern.

“Germany is not a front line state, and they’re not the issue really,” Nordenman said. “The Germans may be concerned for jobs reasons, but not security.”

Read the full article here.

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