Forward Defense: Strengthening U.S. Force Posture in Europe

Remote Visualization

Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine triggered the bloodiest war in Europe since World War II and raised significant questions about the United States’ role in Europe. This report examines U.S. force posture in Europe—including the military capabilities, personnel, infrastructure, and agreements that support defense operations and plans—and makes recommendations for future U.S. posture. It finds that the United States needs a robust, long-term military force posture in Europe, focused on the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) eastern flank, to deter future Russian aggression.

This report is made possible by generous funding from the Smith Richardson Foundation.

Seth G. Jones
Senior Vice President; Harold Brown Chair; and Director, International Security Program
Daniel Fata
Senior Advisor (Non-resident), International Security Program
Kathleen Mcinnis
Senior Fellow, International Security Program and Director, Smart Women, Smart Power Initiative