Reductions in U.S. Costs To Station Forces in the Federal Republic of Germany and the United Kingdom Are Unlikely

NSIAD-84-130: Published: Jul 31, 1984. Publicly Released: Jul 31, 1984.

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GAO reported on the prospects for reducing the costs to the government of stationing U.S. troops in Germany and the United Kingdom.

GAO found that the United States maintains over 350,000 troops in support of its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commitments, and many more are stationed in the United States as NATO reinforcements. The Department of Defense (DOD) estimated that $122.3 billion, or 56 percent of the fiscal year (FY) 1982 defense budget, was associated with the U.S. commitment to NATO. Approximately 80 percent of the U.S. troops stationed in Europe at the end of FY 1982 were stationed in Germany and the United Kingdom. The United States is currently working with Germany on two cost-sharing initiatives, wartime host-nation support and the master restationing plan. Under the host-nation support initiative, Germany will commit 93,000 reservists as military support for U.S. forces in such areas as rear area security, airfield security, and medical decontamination during times of crisis or war. The objectives of the restationing plan are to improve troops' living and working conditions, accommodate modernization, and relocate to more tactically sound positions. Both host-nation support and restationing will substantially increase allied defense capabilities, but they will also increase U.S. costs. The United Kingdom shares substantially in the common defense burden of NATO and contributes to offset the cost of stationing U.S. forces within its boundaries. However, recent efforts to obtain additional cost sharing from the United Kingdom have had limited results.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The only apparent consideration of this recommendation was during the hearings and related activities associated with the DOD FY 1985 budget request. No further congressional action is indicated or expected.

    Matter: Congress may wish to consider the need for more detailed information from DOD concerning: (1) the costs of stationing U.S. forces in Europe and maintaining reinforcements in the United States, as well as alternative strategies for meeting the U.S. commitment to NATO; and (2) direct and indirect contributions by other NATO allies which would reduce U.S. stationing costs or the need for deploying U.S. forces in Europe.


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