My Kingdom for a… Map! What’s Behind DoD’s Keen Interest in Europe’s Geography


The US and NATO are seeking to improve Europe’s logistics for potential operations by the bloc because the alliance’s ability to move swiftly across the continent has been largely “atrophied” since the end of the Cold War, as a 2017 leaked NATO report said. However, the modernization of Europe’s infrastructure could require billions of dollars.

The Pentagon is ready to pay millions for detailed maps of European roads: It turns out that the American Army could literally get stuck in a rut in the Old World.

The United States Army Corps of Engineers has issued a $50 million bid for a five-year contract to map routes through 31 European countries including Georgia and Ukraine. The Pentagon is interested in all available information including aerospace photograms, stereo packs, geodesic maps, underground communications, topographic data, as well as access to existing cartographic databases.

The question then arises as to what is behind the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) keen interest in Europe’s geography.

In October 2017, Spiegel drew attention to a leaked NATO document entitled “Progress Report on the Alliance’s Strengthened Deterrence and Defense Posture,” that concluded “NATO’s ability to logistically support rapid reinforcement in the much-expanded territory covering SACEUR’s (Supreme Allied Commander Europe) area of operation has been atrophied since the end of the Cold War.”

According to the leaked report, the alliance…

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