Forces: The Incredible Shrinking NATO Force

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January 30, 2006: The United States is reducing and reorganizing its combat troops in Europe. When the Cold War ended in 1991, the United States had four divisions (plus some independent brigades) and 250,000 troops. Now, there are 62,000 troops, and the new organization will have only four combat brigades. The 2nd Cavalry Regiment (Stryker) and a Combat Aviation Brigade are in Germany. The 173rd Aviation Brigade is in Italy. Another Stryker brigade will be the core of the Eastern European Task Force (EETF), and will be based in Romania. There may be another base established in Bulgaria for the EETF, which may be expanded to a second brigade. The new force will leave only about 24,000 American troops in Europe by the end of the decade.

 


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