Archive for February 11, 2016


European Reassurance.

The Pentagon is seeking $2.8 billion in the next budget cycle for Army training and preparedness missions in Europe, to reassure U.S. allies worried about the activities of a resurgent Russia.

Opening ceremony sets the stage for Polish, American interoperability ahead

Soldiers of the U.S. 3rd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment take part in a live-fire exercise in Konotop, Poland last month. They were conducting squad-level training alongside Polish troops in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve, a multinational demonstration of continued U.S. commitment to security of NATO. (Army photo by Sergeant Paige )

If approved by Congress, that money will go to continued rotations of Army Brigade Combat Teams in and out of Europe, as well pre-positioning equipment stocks in Europe, so they don’t have to be shipped over during a crisis.

In introducing the Defense Department’s $582.7 billion budget request for the Fiscal Year starting October 1st, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said Tuesday (February 9) that the United States is facing what military planners consider “the most significant shift in the future security environment — and that is a return to an era of great power competition.”

Work added: “Today, we are faced by a resurgent, revanchist* Russia and a rising China.  Both are nuclear-armed powers.  Both are fielding advanced capabilities at a rapid rate.  Both are permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.”

Russia, in particular has been more aggressive on western borders abutting NATO, Work said. And that has made many of Russia’s neighbors, particularly in Scandinavia and the Baltics region, very nervous.


The Baltic Sea region via Wikipedia

To ease those worries the Obama administration has created the European Reassurance Initiative. As Russia has seized parts of Ukraine and tried for more, threatened Poland and the Baltic states and recklessly pushed its bombers and fighter jets through Scandinavian airspace the military reassurance has gone up, from $444 million in Fiscal 2015, $509 million last year to this year’s $2.8 request.


It’s all part of the part of the $523.9 billion budget request, plus an additional $58.8 billion for overseas contingency operations (OCO). That contingency request is way down from the years when U.S. troops were engaged in combat operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army’s part of the OCO request is $23 billion, up $2 billion from last year.

In addition to Russia and China, the United States must also deal with “a more unpredictable and dangerous North Korea,” said Work, adding that North Korea is already a nuclear-armed regional power.  North Korea is pursuing advanced ballistic missile capabilities that Work said “already threaten our Allies and the broader stability of the Asia-Pacific region.” Other challenges include Iran, which is trying to the regional super power of the Middle East and the campaign against global terrorist networks, which Work said “will be an enduring condition for much of the next 25 years.”

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*  A person who seeks retaliation or revenge; spec. a person who advocates or fights for the return of a nation’s lost territory-Oxford English Dictionary.



February 11, 2016 at 11:14 pm Leave a comment


February 2016


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