GAO: US Brigades in Europe Cost Billions

US 'Quadrennial Defense Review' Aimed to Stop Drawdown

In perhaps the best example of how long a military drawdown can take, the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review proposal by the Pentagon is seeking to halt the drawdown from Western Europe and retain four combat brigades in the region.

But according to a new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), this is going to come at a significant cost, with an additional $2 billion in “extra costs” associated with keeping the four brigades in Europe instead of just two, as was previously planned.

Three of the brigades would be kept in Germany, with another in Italy. The need for combat brigades in a part of the world that hasn’t seen war in over half a century is unclear, but officials cited “a changing security dynamic in Europe.”

Though the additional costs aren’t an enormous portion of the $700+ billion annual US military budget, they do come at a time when US officials have been insisting they are determined to cut unnecessary costs.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of