February 3, 2016

Obama wants to quadruple military spending in Europe to counter Russian aggression

In another acknowledgment that sanctions and diplomacy haven’t deterred Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, the Obama administration said Tuesday it wants to quadruple military spending in Europe to reassure NATO allies still anxious over Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine.

The spending would increase to $3.4 billion under the new plan, which will be introduced next week as part of Mr. Obama’s final budget.

Having been unable to dislodge Russian President Vladimir Putin’s proxy forces from Ukraine through diplomacy, Mr. Obama now wants to spend the extra money on “continuous U.S. armored brigade rotations” through stations in Central and Eastern Europe, beefed-up U.S. participation in NATO military exercises and the deployment of more combat vehicles and supplies.

The president said the move “should make clear that America will stand firm with its allies in defending not just NATO territory but also shared principles of international law and order.” He plans to prod allies to ratchet up their own contributions to the military alliance at an upcoming NATO conference in Poland.

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