Since the close of World War II, the US has remained committed to transatlantic security. The North Atlantic Treaty was signed in 1949 and saw the transatlantic nations become the core of world security. It is in this light that NATO has emerged as military alliance that remains important to the US. There are about 80,000 US military personnel located in about 28 operating bases in Europe. These are mainly in the UK, Italy, Germany and Spain. While the Cold War led to the setting up of these bases, America defends Europe due to a number of various reasons. First, these bases have become crucial in the country’s 21st century operations. In terms of the country’s financial interest, a secure and safe Europe is critical. This is because security in the region translates into economic viability, with the US and 27 European Union member states accounting for about half of the world’s economy.
At the same time, a strong NATO is keen interest to America. This explains why US forces are pivotal in building the capacities of their European allies. For example, in the year 2010, the US conducted training that involved about 50000 military personnel from 40 European countries. This means that when it comes to challenging missions, the burden is effectively shared. Also, the presence of the US military in Europe serves to deter adversaries of America, protect the nation’s interests and strengthen allies. Whether responding to issues such as humanitarian crisis or preparing allied and US troops for Afghanistan, the United States is capable of projecting power as well as reacting to any unexpected eventualities due to its military presence in Europe.
Kochis, Daniel. The Future Will be Much Brighter if NATO and the U.S. Face It Together. The Heritage Foundation, 2013. Accessed on 19 Feb. 2014. [http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2013/12/the-future-will-be-much- brighter-if-nato-and-the-us-face-it-together]
Coffey, Luke. Keeping America Safe: Why U.S. Bases in Europe Remain Vital. The Heritage Foundation, 2012, Special Report No. 11. Accessed on 19 Feb. 2014. [http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/07/keeping-america-safe-why-us-bases- in-europe-remain-vital]