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Focus on Europe? The US Army and European defence

Keynote by Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General, US Army Europe

A few years ago, the US administration announced its rebalance to Asia. Europe at the time seemed at peace, while the United States expected serious security challenges to emerge in the Asia-Pacific. However, Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its covert aggression in eastern Ukraine have altered the security parameters of the “old continent”.

As a result, the United States has announced a major overhaul of its European presence.  The US Army has provided the bulk of the military response to a more assertive Russia and reinforced its reassurance measures for Eastern Europe. Still, many Europeans are worried about isolationist tendencies in the United States, and some even complain openly about a lack of leadership and a US retreat from the world.

Are we witnessing a new US focus on Europe today? Is the new posture a long-term commitment or a temporary reinforcement? What will the upcoming NATO summit in Warsaw bring? And what does the US expect from its European partners? Finally, does NATO need to be afraid of Russia?


Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, Commanding General, US Army Europe


Brig. Gen. Markus Laubenthal, Chief of Staff, US Army Europe

Christian Mölling, Senior Resident Transatlantic Fellow, the German Marshall Fund of the United States

Welcome and moderation:

Wolfgang Ischinger, Senior Professor for Security Policy and Diplomatic Practice, Hertie School; Chairman, Munich Security Conference