- During a trip to Poland President Obama announced he’d seek congressional backing for a “European Reassurance Initiative” worth up to $1B within the FY15 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) request, which his Administration has yet to submit almost 4 months after the deadline for presidential budget requests. With that money the US intends to mostly increase its exercises, training, and rotational presence in Europe.
- However the US Administration didn’t bother to file a proper OCO request in time last year either, and the amounts requested are arguably too high for what remains of the war effort in Afghanistan. This makes today’s announcement look like budgetary window dressing more than a substantial response to Russia’s “attempted annexation of Crimea” to use the White House’s language. (It’s not clear in what way the annexation is not an actual done deal at this point.) Maybe Mini Me could help make the “one billion dollars” pledge more convincing?
- The White House says it will “build the partner capacity of close friends such as Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine so they can better work alongside the United States and NATO, as well as provide for their own defense” but that part is not fleshed out and may end up amounting to a few gifted satellite phones.
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