The Declining Influence of America’s Military in Europe

"Royal Navy Type 45 destroyer HMS Daring" by Defence Images is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Donald Trump has left a lasting legacy.

In particular, Trump will be recognized for his efforts in restoring NATO to its former strength by convincing the member states to pay their agreed fair share (2% of GDP). 

As a result of this effort, the US would be able to cut its troop numbers in Germany from 34,000 to 25,000.

At the time, the NATO head, Jens Stoltenberg, admitted publicly that Trump contributed a tremendous amount to Europe beginning taking a hold of its own defense.

“Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer HMS Diamond” by Defence Images is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The Royal Navy

Since the end of the Second World War, the Royal Navy has seen a massive decline. The empire that Britain once controlled split up fast; moreover, maintaining the supermassive fleet was impossible to afford for the Island Kingdom.

When the nation was challenged with military invasion in 1982 after Argentina invaded the British islands of the Falklands, her Navy was stretched to the limit.

However, under the stern leadership of conservative Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, Britain was able to take back the islands after a bitter struggle. The victory also spelled a turning point for the UK.

She realized that in order for Britain to reclaim her position on the world stage, she could no longer rely on the Naval protection of the United States. Britain needed to represent its own interests, and doing that would require the platforms to protect its power.

2017 saw the launch of the Brand new Super Carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. This new behemoth and her sister ship will put Britain back into the number two spot underneath the USA on the list of countries with the most carriers.

The new ships will carry the 5th generation fighter Jets from the United States, the F35.

As well as the two new carriers, the Royal Navy is currently building two new Patrol Boats, and three new Astute class Fast attack submarines (two were just completed); this also comes along with four new Dreadnought class missile submarines. Eight Type 26 anti Submarine frigates are planned, as well as five new type 31 general purpose frigates.

What does this mean?

It means that European nations are starting to realize that they can not rely on US force protection forever. Soon, they will have to foot the bill for their own defense and most importantly, deter Russia by themselves. 

The Citizens of America are over generations of military deployment to foreign lands that don’t even pay for the protection. The US Department of Defense has essentially paid for the defense of these countries in return for very little.

This takes a toll on the American mindset as infrastructure burdens at home become more of a day-to-day issue.

The decline of America’s military influence will see countries like Britain take the lead to become the number one power on the continent. Allies such as France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Poland the following suit.