I never thought that I would find myself agreeing on a political issue with Congressman Mike Coffman. Coffman is a very conservative Republican from Colorado, with a conservative legislative score of 79 percent and a liberal legislative score of just 8 percent. I’m a liberal. Mike Coffman usually doesn’t agree with the kind of policies that I find ideal.
Yet, last week Congressman Coffman said something that made a lot of sense. Coffman called for the withdrawal of American soldiers from Europe. In a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Coffman said, “In January, the Pentagon announced that two U.S. Army combat brigade teams would be withdrawn from Europe. I don’t think that goes far enough. The current proposal is only a step in the right direction. We should retain only the headquarters and support infrastructure necessary for expeditionary capabilities, and we should withdraw all four combat brigades from Europe. In order for the U.S. military to modernize and move forward towards a more agile strategy, we must close bases in Europe. There is no longer a strategic reason to maintain nearly 80,000 troops in Europe.”
Coffman is right. It’s been almost 70 years since Adolph Hitler was a threat. The Soviet Union has been gone for an entire generation now. So, why should the American people keep paying to support a massive American military infrastructure on the European continent?
Europe won’t fall apart if the American military leaves, and back here at home, government support for schools and hospitals is being drastically reduced due to draconian budget legislation. It would be unforgivable for Congress to maintain our country’s outdated military presence in Europe while forcing people here in the USA to make sacrifices in order to support the extra expense.
If we could see more Republican legislation for cuts in military spending of the sort that Mike Coffman has offered, it would make the GOP claim of standing for fiscal responsibility a lot more believable.