A June 25 report in Defense News noted that the Trump administration has requested $828 million in the 2019 budget to build up the European Deterrence Initiative, or EDI, designed to deter Russian aggression and reinforce allies. Almost half of that construction funding would be spent on U.S. Air Force projects.
Defense News said the request would more than double military construction funding under the EDI from the 2018 request, which was $338 million.
Bloomberg reported on February 12:
The [Defense Department] budget requests $6.5 billion for what’s now being called the “European Deterrence Initiative,” up from $4.7 billion requested last year, to increase the U.S. military presence in Europe, conduct more exercises with NATO partners and pre-position equipment. It was previously called the “European Reassurance Initiative.”
These intense military preparations suggest a resurrection of a Cold War mentality among our leaders. During the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was realistically seen as a potential threat to Eastern Europe, NATO was established to deter such a threat. When the USSR supposedly dissolved, NATO should have as well.
Article Five of the NATO treaty states that if an armed attack occurs against one of the member states, it should be considered an attack against all members, and other members shall assist the attacked member, with armed forces if necessary.
The connection between the European Deterrence Initiative and NATO is made clear by the Defense Department. A July 14, 2016 article on the DOD website (“European Reassurance Initiative Shifts to Deterrence”) cited “Rachel Ellehuus, DoD’s principal director for European and NATO policy, and Air Force Major General David Allvin, U.S. European Command’s director of strategy and policy [who] testified at a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee’s oversight and investigation subcommittee on the future of the European Reassurance Initiative.”
Image: Screenshot from DoD website