This move is driven by changing US security needs. Current troop levels reflect our Cold War needs. This redeployment is meant to better address our current security needs related to the war on terror and reduce costs associated with overseas troop deployments.
In the wake of the announcement, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) was quick to attack. General Wesley Clark stated that removing troops from Europe and Asia would "significantly undermine U.S. national security. This ill-conceived move and its timing seem politically motivated rather than designed to strengthen our national security." Richard Holbrooke, former ambassador to Germany and an advisor to the Kerry campaign, stated "I know that the Germans are very unhappy about these withdrawals".
Several things stand out about the DNC comments:
- Clark's position is in direct opposition to John Kerry's comments at the convention. During the convention, Kerry stated that he wanted to expand US troop levels domestically. Apparently Clark does not see a need for increasing domestic troop levels.
- Clark is attacking Bush because this move is deemed to be "politically motivated". Presumably this means that the move is a good thing, which contradicts his "ill-conceived" comment.
- Holbrooke, unlike Clark, is apparently in goose-step, I mean lock-step, with Kerry. Pleasing the Germans and the French seems to be the cornerstone of the Kerry platform.