The United States is building two new bases in Eastern Europe. One, in Romania, is costing $50 million while another, costing $60 million, is in Bulgaria. The base in Romania will be home for 1,500 American troops, while the one in Bulgaria will hold 2,500. The Romanian base will open this year, the one in Bulgaria will be activated in 2-3 years. Both bases will be used by troops from the host country as well, and will be owned by the host country.
The establishment of American bases in Eastern Europe follows the closing of dozens of bases in Germany. Many of these were established when a growing number of U.S. combat units arrived in the 1950s, to confront Russian forces in Eastern Europe. That American 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 four years. Most of the troops went back to the United States or their units were disbanded. But some of departed American troops are moving east, where they will man bases that are largely support facilities. These make it easier to move American forces into the Middle East, Central Asia or South Asia. Or to Eastern Europe to defend the many new NATO members there.