Lord Ismay, the first Secretary General of NATO, famously said that the purpose of the organization was “to keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down.”

The announcement today that the US is closing a further 15 bases in Europe, mostly in Germany, shows how times have changed. The Americans no longer see Europe as a priority. It may not be too long until the Americans are no longer “in,” which may also mean the Russians will no longer be “out.”   The Germans have not been “down” for a long time.

The timing of the announcement was rather insensitive, coming 24 hours after the terrorist attack in Paris that left twelve dead.   At precisely the time that Europe is faced with its most serious threat in decades, the US confirms that Asia is the priority, not Europe, the continent where two world wars began.

In the 1950s and 60s, Britain was gradually withdrawing from the world, closing military bases. The closures reflected waning political, military and economic power.   However this announcement is dressed up, it will be perceived the same way.  The US is on the way out.


  1. Thank you Mr. Rhodes. I’m following every post closely and greatly appreciate your insight and commitment to keeping us abreast of what’s going on and how you perceive it.

  2. Melvin
    Sounds a bit dangerous to me. Just a pity they couldn’t stay until after I’ve gone.
    I wonder what Putin & Merkel are thinking now?

  3. I was rather taken aback when I read this article. I hadn’t heard this on any news report or seen it in any news articles and I really try to keep up with the news. I did a google search and very few US news agencies even bothered to report on it, not a single link to Fox News, CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, etc. Astounding! Now, on the other hand, if you do a Google search about the Patriots and whether or not a stupid football was properly inflated or not, you’ll be met with more news links from these same news outlets than you could read in a week’s time.

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