Don’t Forget Europe

Europe is home to some of the United States’ closest and longest standing allies, but risks falling by the wayside as emerging threats in Asia and the Pacific occupy US leaders, warns Maj. Gen. Mark Schissler, US Air Forces in Europe’s director of plans, programs, and analyses. Decision makers and leaders around the world are preoccupied with the Pacific, and “I think that’s a dangerous view,” Schissler told the Daily Report during a Jan. 10 interview in his office at Ramstein AB, Germany. “It concerns me when people are ready to discount Europe and NATO. I think it’s a vital relationship and we need to remain balanced across the globe,” he said. The United States should maintain the strong, stabilizing posture that has enabled peace in Europe, while equally cultivating relationships in the Pacific to confront emerging threats, he said. Europe is home to bases critical to US mobility and force projection worldwide, as well as allies that stood beside the US through the Cold War, and stand beside it today in Afghanistan. Schissler said US leaders must not overlook European countries, with which the United States shares many common interests, responsibilities, and values.