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The U.S. Army in Europe Strategic Landpower in Action

October 2, 2015

The growing and emerging threats to the global security environment—the velocity of instability—recently compelled the Department of Defense (DoD) to reexamine its capabilities and capacity for deterrence, sustained operations and reassurance of allies and partners. In contrast to projections in earlier strategic guidance, the regional security and stability in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Pacific have deteriorated in the past several years in ways that were not anticipated. Potential adversaries sought to negate America’s strengths, exploit its vulnerabilities and gain temporary or local superiority in one or more capability areas. Additionally, the more adversaries disrupted or undermined the strong U.S. network of security alliances and partners, the greater the threat to the vital interests of the United States. This continues today.

The U.S. Army, as part of the joint force, operates globally in environments characterized by growing urbanization, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, malicious cyber and information operations, humanitarian crises and the devastating effects of climate change. The combination of threats and conditions creates an increasingly dangerous and unpredictable operational environment and underscores the need for Army forces—active, Guard and Reserve— that are agile, responsive and regionally engaged.

In the European region, Russia’s intervention has challenged the resolve of the European Union and NATO. Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea and use of conventional and unconventional land forces in Ukraine suggest that Russia is determined to expand its territory and assert its power on the Eurasian landmass. In addition, terrorist attacks in Europe together with significant increases in numbers of refugees from Africa and the Middle East have created extreme conditions of volatility and instability. Moreover, traditional allies in Europe continue to face significant economic and demographic burdens that exert downward pressure on defense budgets. Therefore, strengthening military capabilities and building security capacity necessary for regional stability require sustained and focused engagement. That is precisely what U.S. Army Europe (USAREUR)—as the Army service component command (ASCC) to U.S. European Command—is executing under the framework of its Strong Europe initiative. And in doing so, it is supporting both U.S. and allied interests on the European continent. Through USAREUR, Army forces are both present and capable in a critical area of the world, sending a strong message of assurance and deterrence to friends and potential adversaries alike. The U.S. Army’s presence in Europe is more vital now than it has been since the fall of the Soviet Union.