Force Structure:

Basis for Future Army Forces in Europe

NSIAD-94-43: Published: Jan 14, 1994. Publicly Released: Jan 25, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Department of Defense's (DOD) force reduction plans for U.S. military forces in Europe, focusing on the: (1) planned size and composition of the forces at the end of fiscal year 1996; and (2) force reductions' effect on major military capabilities.

GAO found that: (1) DOD plans to retain 100,000 troops in Europe to respond to its full range of assigned missions; (2) DOD based its decision on the forces' composition and size on U.S. security and political objectives, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commitments, and its judgment; (3) NATO plans to use smaller, mobile, and more flexible forces do not include deploying the U.S. corps as a unit; (4) DOD has streamlined Army forces in Europe and will be dependent on reinforcements from the United States to maintain its combat capability; (5) although the Army has tried to retain maximum combat capability by reducing support forces, force reductions have reduced Army combat capabilities; (6) the U.S. military capability most affected by force reductions is independent fighting as a corps in a major war without allies, but the need for that capability has diminished significantly since the Soviet Union's demise; and (7) DOD is reviewing whether the retention of heavy armored forces in Europe is appropriate to meet post-Cold War challenges given Eastern Europe's uncertain political future.

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