"WINDS OF CHANGE" IN USEUCOM'S AREA OF RESPONSIBILITY
Many changes are currently taking place in the European theater, and these changes will have a profound impact on the threat environment faced by USEUCOM over the next decade. One such change can be found in the recent dissolution of the Soviet Union. The dissolution of the Soviet Union and its satellite Eastern bloc offers a rare opportunity for curtailing certain defense policies and expenditures. Much of our policy in Europe over the past four decades has been geared toward staving off an implied Soviet threat both from the Soviet Union itself and from the satellite nations of Eastern Europe. The disintegration of the Soviet Union into a series of smaller independent states eliminated that threat and has in effect ended European Communism as an international threat. This naturally created a sense of euphoria in the West, but it also contributed to the development of a good deal of confusion and uncertainty. (17:3) What the West now has to face is the need to find a new policy that will still provide for European security and that will also provide the stability that is required.
Another important change, related to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, is the growth of new independent states in Eastern Europe. Between now and the end of the century, these new states will create a number of challenges in their efforts to replace Communism with democratic economic systems. (11:26) These