By Jeremy Herb
Currently, the military plans to remove two of the four brigades stationed in Europe, replacing them with a rotational brigade.
Lawmakers from both parties have stepped up to fight another round of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC), which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said last month would be included in the president’s 2013 budget request.
The Pentagon has planned for $487 billion in cuts over the next decade, and faces the threat of another $472 billion in automatic cuts through sequestration. Another BRAC round, Panetta said, would be one way to cut costs by getting rid of excess infrastructure.
Coffman’s response to reduce forces in Europe has been a common refrain from lawmakers who don’t want another BRAC round, as they say cuts can be made abroad before they’re made domestically, where the reductions would be felt economically.
Coffman’s rationale for making cuts to Europe is similar to that of Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who introduced a bill Wednesday to cut $100 billion in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
“It is insane to spend hundreds of billions on new nuclear bombs and delivery systems to fight a long-past Cold War while ignoring our 21st-century security needs and seeking to cut Medicare, Medicaid and social programs that millions of Americans depend on,” Markey said announcing his bill.