CSIS: Army Should Up Presence in Europe

CSIS: Army Should Up Presence in Europe

US Soldiers with German soldiers
Photo by: U.S. Army Reserve/Spc. Kirsti Beckett

The U.S. military should maintain a more permanent presence in Poland to effectively deter Russian aggression and reassure U.S. allies, according to a report by the nonpartisan Center for Strategic International Studies.

“The United States should … [increase] the number of permanent forward-stationed maneuver forces to deter and effectively respond to Russian aggression,” the report says. “That increase entails shifting the rotational [armored brigade combat team] associated with Operation Atlantic Resolve (along with the associated combat aviation brigade) to a permanent, forward-stationed armored brigade combat team headquartered in Poland.” 

Forward-stationing U.S. military units would “facilitate the speed of assembly and movement for U.S. operations in Europe,” as well as “limit the amount of time required to build a combat-credible force to counter acts of Russian aggression against NATO” and reassure U.S. allies and partners, the report says.

By the time Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, the U.S. military had increased its presence in Europe to 90,000 personnel, according to the report.

The Army has made several moves since the invasion to bolster its presence in Europe, including deploying two additional brigade combat teams and establishing a permanent garrison in Poland in March 2023. 

In addition to strengthening its personnel in Europe, the report found that bolstering “prepositioned equipment and munitions stocks in Europe,” including Army Prepositioned Stock 2, located in worksites across the region, would “enhance the readiness of U.S. forces.”

U.S. military posture in Europe will remain key to deterrence and reassurance moving forward, the report says.

“There is a need to re-evaluate U.S. force posture in Europe based on Russia’s aggressive military actions and the prospect of a protracted war in Ukraine,” it says. “Future U.S. posture in Europe has significant implications for deterring adversaries in Europe and other regions, … assuring allies and partners in Europe and other regions; fighting wars effectively if deterrence fails; and preserving security institutions.”

Read the report here.