Troop Withdrawals from Europe: Cold War American Foreign Policy and Military Strategy

Allen Pietrobon


In 1971, U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield introduced a proposal calling for a fifty percent reduction of the number of U.S. troops stationed in Europe. The proposal was ultimately voted down in the Senate but it sparked sweeping changes in the defence policies of some major NATO nations. This paper examines the pre and post “Mansfield Amendment” defence policies of Britain, France, and West Germany, and strives to answer the question of how a single failed Senate proposal could lead three major NATO countries to drastically change their defence policies.

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