As of December 2010, the U.S. had almost 80,000 military personnel stationed in Europe, more than 54,000 of them in Germany, according to the Defense Department’s website.OK, it is a convenient jumping off point to the middle east. Or it would be if Turkey would let us use their airspace. But that doesn't always happen.
So why do we we have 80,000 combat troops in Europe? Because of the imminent threat posed by the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union. (You might think the new Russia is a threat, but do you really think they are as big a threat as the old CCCP?)
At the very least, we could bring those troops home and station them on our southern border. If we are going to pay to house them, should the communities that benefit be in this country, or in Germany and Italy?
Once upon a time it may have made sense to keep paying for the defense of Europe and West Germany in particular. But that was a long time ago. Europe, even with its current problems is a thriving economy. It can surely afford to pay for its own defense.
Now I am all for keeping America strong. But part of that has to take into account how much we can afford to spend, and prioritizing what's what. Defending Europe is something that the Europeans need to do more of, and we need to do less of.