US proposes more Pentagon funding for Europe aid, equipment


WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Tuesday it will propose quadrupling what it spends on its troops and training in Europe, as part of the U.S. military's accelerating effort to deter Russia.

President Barack Obama, in his final budget request to Congress, will ask for $3.4 billion — up from $789 million for the current budget year — for what the Pentagon calls its European Reassurance Initiative, which was announced in 2014 in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea and incursion into eastern Ukraine. The president was also calling for a 50 percent increase in spending on the war against the Islamic State group, to $7.5 billion.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter, giving an overview of the administration's proposed 2017 defense budget of $582.7 billion, described Russia as a growing challenge for the United States. He said the U.S. was taking a "strong and balanced approach" to deterring its former Cold War foe.


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