Innsbruck, May 15, 1971
Whenever Mike Mansfield raises his voice in the U.S. Senate, demanding the reduction of American troops in Europe, it sounds like a ceterum censeo. And each time, one can sense the precarious defense situation of Europe, which is irrefutably based on the presence of American troops. Mansfield’s recent demand to reduce the 300,000 American troops stationed in Europe by half until December 31 is hardly taken seriously. But in view of the growing foreign trade deficit and the weakening U.S. dollar, his arguments are gaining in significance. The reduction of American troops cannot be prevented on the long run. Europe should be prepared for this day in order not to create an unprotected power vacuum.
[Michael (Mike) J. Mansfield, born 1903 in New York, moved to Butte, Montana; a mining engineer, historian and politician, he was regarded as an expert on Southeast Asia. Mansfield served as Democrat from Montana in the U.S. Congress, 1942-77; first as Congressman, 1942-52, and then as Senator, 1953-77. Following Lyndon B. Johnson, he assumed the position of Majority Leader of the Senate. As he was many times dealing with foreign affairs, he spoke up for American troop reductions in Europe as well as in Asia. After 1977 Mansfield served as U.S. Ambassador to Japan.]