National Defense Magazine quotes VP and Scowcroft Center Director Barry Pavel on the recent announcement of fifteen US base closures in Europe:
“Europe is now a theater of insecurity. It hadn’t been considered that since the end of the Cold War,” said Barry Pavel, director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council.
Pavel was one of the architects of the Bush administration’s global military realignment in 2004 which removed heavy Army brigades from Germany and recommended reductions of about 30,000 troops. “At the time the thinking was that Russia was not a problem. That now needs to be revisited,” Pavel said in an interview.
The latest moves to consolidate military facilities in Europe are legitimate “efficiency” efforts that were long overdue, but they underscore the Pentagon’s reticence to draw down too quickly, Pavel added. “There’s this Putin guy who is acting in ways we would not consider responsible.”