From across the Atlantic, American observers of European affairs watch the unfolding process of economic reform - particularly the related impact on European defensebudgets - with some alarm. Fears center on an increasing gap in capabilities between America and its European allies. Nonetheless, Washington is not withoutinfluence as European militaries tighten their belts. This paper will examine some of the tools at America's disposal in shaping post-ISAF allied forces across thecontinent - specifically, the role played by American military forces forward-based in Europe - and will analyze how Washington can wield those tools most effectively ata time when U.S. force structure in Europe is itself on the chopping block.
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