September 13, 2008: After
spending over half a century years in Europe, the headquarters of the U.S. 7th Army
headquarters is reorganizing as a deployable unit (meaning it can be ordered to
another part of the world to supervise major military operations.) The 7th Army
headquarters ceased to be very mobile as it commanded a growing force of European
based U.S. combat units in the 1950s. But this force went from two corps and
over six divisions (18 combat brigades) during the Cold War, to the current
four brigades (which are also subject to duty in distant combat zones, like
Iraq or Afghanistan). During the Cold War, there were over 300,000 U.S. troops
in Western Europe, now it's about 40,000, and headed for 33,000 in five years.
And if there's a crises somewhere else on the planet, there won't even be an
army headquarters there to command what's left of American forces.