Bush Announces Global Posture Changes Over Next Decade
By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2004 The United States will redistribute forces now stationed at overseas locations "where the wars of the last century ended," President Bush announced in Cincinnati today.
The president's announcement came during an address to the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
"The world has changed a great deal," Bush said, "and our posture must change with it for the sake of our military families, for the sake of our taxpayers, and so we can be more effective at projecting our strength and spreading freedom and peace."
America's current force posture in Europe, Bush explained, was designed to guard against Soviet aggression. "The threat no longer exists," he said.
The decision to redistribute forces comes after three years of study and consultations, Bush said. "We've consulted closely with our allies and with Congress. We've examined the challenges posed by today's threats and emerging threats." The result, he said, will be "a more agile and flexible force."
As the new global posture takes shape over the next 10 years, Bush said, more U.S. troops will be stationed at, and deployed from, home bases in the United States.
"We'll move some of our troops and capabilities to new locations so they can surge quickly to deal with unexpected threats," Bush said. "We'll take advantage of 21st century military technologies to rapidly deploy increased combat power."
The new plan, the president said, will strengthen U.S. alliances and build new partnerships around the world, and will reduce stress on military people and their families.
"Although we'll still have a significant presence overseas, under the plan I'm announcing today, over the next 10 years we will bring home about 60,000 to 70,000 uniformed personnel and about 100,000 family members and civilian employees."
This, he explained, would give servicemembers more time on the home front, as well as more predictability and fewer moves over a career.
"Our military spouses will have fewer job changes, greater stability, more time for their kids and to spend time with their families at home," he added.
Taxpayers will benefit from cost savings realized by closing obsolete overseas bases and facilities, the president said.