Thursday, October 6, 2011

USAREUR commander says European mission is still vital

U.S. Army Europe’s annual cost to American taxpayers: $1.2 billion; benefit provided to taxpayers: “Priceless,” according to USAREUR commander Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling.

In an era of budget cuts and debt debates, with an expectation of at least $350 billion in cuts to the defense budget over the next decade, with critics charging NATO allies are not contributing their fair share, and with some in Congress clamoring to bring U.S. forces home from Europe, now that the Soviet threat is long extinct, Hertling has his work as an advocate for U.S. Army Europe cut out for him.

So, he welcomed last week’s visit from Army Secretary John McHugh, a moderate Republican from upstate New York appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009.