by Staff Writers
Munich, Germany (AFP) Feb 3, 2012
Europe should not fear a renewed US focus on Asia and must increasingly look after its own backyard militarily without its historic ally, Germany's defence minister said on Friday.
"Europeans should not look at the strategic re-orientation of the Americans with apprehension. There is every reason to be calm and confident," Thomas de Maiziere said, opening the Munich Security Conference.
As Washington looks east, "Europe must be able to assume responsibility, including military responsibility for itself and for security in its immediate neighbourhood," the minister added.
"Europe will increasingly have to take care of its own security."
Last November, President Barack Obama made a landmark speech in Australia where he shifted his nation's strategic focus to the Pacific.
"Here is what this region must know. As we end today's wars, I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia-Pacific a top priority," Obama said.
Last month, the United States announced plans to withdraw two of its four army brigades stationed in Europe in 2014.
There are some 81,000 US troops in Europe, according to Pentagon data released in September 2011, about half of them stationed in Germany.
De Maiziere said there was "no reason for complaint" about this withdrawal.
"Europe and Germany will continue to be the greatest and most important military location for US troops outside their country. We are seeing a shift from quantity to quality," he added.
Speaking at a US base in Germany, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta also sought to assure Europeans of Washington's continued commitment.
"I want to make clear to our European and NATO allies that we'll maintain a significant presence here in Europe," said Panetta.
"Here in Europe, we'll have the largest troop presence than anywhere else in the world ... We want to maintain our presence everywhere, that's a very important part of our security," added the secretary.
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com
Learn about nuclear weapons doctrine and defense at SpaceWar.com
Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.
Old weapons, new threats fuel India's military build-up
New Delhi (AFP) Feb 2, 2012
India's planned purchase of 126 fighters from France's Dassault marks the latest stage in a huge military procurement cycle that has turned the world's largest democracy into its biggest arms importer. The final Dassault contract is expected to be worth $12 billion and India is preparing further big ticket purchases over the coming years, including of helicopters and artillery. In a repo ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|