American Troops Abroad

Archive Report

Reappraisal of U.S. Troop Commitments

Discussion of Need for Big Garrison in Europe

President Johnson's pledge to the North Atlantic Council, December 16, that the United States would “keep in Europe the equivalent of six American divisions that are now deployed there, so long as they are needed” was intended to dispel fears that this country planned to recall a substantial number of its overseas military units. Only four days before the President sent his message of reassurance, the Pentagon had announced that seven overseas bases would be shut down in the next three and one-half years.1 American allies in Western Europe, living in the shadow of Soviet military power, fear that reduction of American armed strength on the Continent might encourage Soviet aggression or foreshadow ...

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