The American Role in European Defense Reform

  • November 1, 2012


In order to influence the direction and outcomes of defense reforms occurring across Europe, the United States needs to refocus its military-to-military engagement programs with its European allies. Instead of seeking to build partner capacity among the newest NATO members or aspirants, Washington will be better served by maintaining and strengthening interoperability with those allies that are adaptive and innovative, deployable and expeditionary, and capable of full spectrum operations—that is, allies such as France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. This finding is based upon what Washington itself sees as the future of conflict and the kinds of coalition partner skills and abilities the United States will need to counter post-International Security Assistance Force International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) threats to U.S. and collective security. Given budget and force structure cuts facing the United States as well, the American military cannot afford to waste its limited security cooperation resources.

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