The 2018 budget request for the European Reassurance Initiative has grown to $4.7 Billion.
The European Reassurance Initiative is a programme initiated in 2014 by the White House to increase US presence in Europe for security purposes. Originally planned for one year, the initiative has increased in appropriation from a $1 billion operation to $4.7 billion by 2018.
US Air Force Major Gen. David W. Allvin held a telephone briefing with reporters, speaking from Eucom headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.
“This is one of our nation’s commitments to Europe, and it demonstrates our strong dedication to the trans-Atlantic bond and the defence of our allies.”
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014, the United States authorised ERI at $985 million in 2015, $789 million in 2016 and $3.4 billion in 2017.
Operation Atlantic Resolve, funded partly by ERI, is designed to demonstrate to NATO allies and the world the ‘US is intent to fulfil NATO treaty commitments to respond to threats against allies’.
According to a press release, Allvin said ERI’s main focus areas include:
- Increased presence. “We’re proposing a more robust U.S. military rotational presence throughout the theater that is capable of deterring and, if required, responding to any regional threats,” he said. The ERI 2018 budget funds this at $1.7 billion, according to the budget document.
- Exercises and training. Eucom is increasing the training tempo to improve overall readiness and interoperability with U.S. allies and partners, the general said. This is funded at $218 million.
- Enhanced pre-positioning. “This is a strategic placement of equipment throughout the theater that supports our steady-state activities while also enabling us to rapidly deploy forces into theater if required,” he added. This is funded at $2.2 billion.
- Improving infrastructure. This is funded at $338 million.
- Building partnership capacity. The general said this strengthens the ability of allies and partners to defend themselves and enables their full participation with U.S. operational forces. This is funded at $267 million.
The fiscal 2018 ERI budget request also includes $150 million to continue train, equip and advise efforts to build Ukraine’s capacity to conduct internal defence operations to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity and support institutional transformation efforts, according to the fiscal 2018 budget document.