US military not abandoning Europe: Panetta

The Obama administration is withdrawing two of the four Army brigades stationed on Europe.

Last Updated: Feb 04, 2012, 15:32 PM IST

Munich: US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta is reassuring Europe that it remains central to US defence interests, even as the Obama administration is withdrawing two of the four Army brigades stationed on the continent.

In a speech on Saturday to an international security conference, Panetta emphasised the positive. He says Europe is America`s security partner of choice for military operations and diplomacy around the world.

He notes that the US is building a missile defence system in Europe, including a radar station in Turkey and missiles to be stationed in Romania and Poland.
He says four US ships capable of shooting down missiles will be stationed at Rota, Spain.

The departing brigades will be offset by smaller Army units that will rotate to Europe for temporary training assignments.

Bureau Report