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Monday, January 17, 2005
Business in Romania blog
U.S. troops could start moving from Cold War-era posts in Germany to new bases in Romania and Bulgaria this year as part of American efforts to create a more mobile overseas force, the top U.S. commander in Europe said Friday.

Romania and Bulgaria, which joined NATO in April, are considered particularly suited to new U.S. bases because of their proximity to volatile regions in the Balkans, Caucasus and Middle East. They also have Soviet-era facilities that could be adapted for American use, and both countries are keen to host U.S. troops.

Marine General James L. Jones spoke to reporters at NATO military headquarters in southern Belgium after a trip to Romania and Bulgaria to assess possible base locations.

"This is part and parcel of the transformation of our footprint in Europe, which has been in need of surgery for some time," he said.

Plans for the bases are expected to be drawn up soon, and if approved by the U.S. Congress and governments in both countries, Jones said the move could start quickly.

The move east is part of an overhaul announced by President George W. Bush last year in which 70,000 troops and 100,000 family members withdrawn from bases in Germany and South Korea.

Under the plans, the United States would move away from many of its big, permanent bases where troops are stationed long-term with families and large back-up infrastructures.

Instead, it would use smaller, more austere facilities where troops would rotate in for shorter deployments.
The Pentagon says such a network of smaller bases spread around the world will provide more flexibility in dealing with terrorism, regional crises and other emerging threats.

Posted by Iulia Rasoiu : 1/17/2005 03:05:00 pm U.S. troops may start moving to Romania this year
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