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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.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Got to feel sorry for the US- all of Europe (including the UK) sit on their bottoms and do nothing to increase defence capabilities or move towards meeting the NATO target of 2% GDP to defence expenditure.
    I think with the BREXIT decision the UK needs to massively up it’s game. There are just 2 capable EU nations currently with a range of capabilities France and the UK (although the UK is only just hanging onto some of its capabilities by the skin of it’s teeth and might actually soon lose them- early decommission of HMS ocean and no helicopter carrier or LPH role, no anti ship missiles, no BMD capability) We need to go to 3% GDP to defence ratio and start actually sorting some of the critical mass and capability gap issues out.
    If we do so we can then vocally name and shame those EU nations that choose to ignore the NATO commitment targets and spend money their money differently- mainly going to bloated EU budget and building new headquarters buildings and travelling first class whilst sipping champagne I guess.
    Hard life being an EU commissioner.
    an extra 1% of GDP going to defence would easily fund the following projects:
    2 new LPHD’s to support the QE carriers and provide a real Amphibious battle group capability 24/7- £1.2 billion
    4 new MARS class support ships- out to tender but hopefully going to shipbuilders in Liverpool and Appledore/ Portsmouth with modular construction but final assembly in Liverpool
    increase in type 26 order by 2 more ships- £1.4 billion (reduced price due to cost savings of larger order and R+D having already been spent)
    6 type 31 frigates initially (£2billion) but a follow on order for another 6 to really return RN fighting power and hull numbers
    Order for Norwegian anti ship missile as an interim until MBDA missiles ready in 2021-2023- fitting the NSM to entire RN fleet and air launched version for RAF would cost circa £1.2 billion for 300-400 missiles
    Fitting out of all merlin mk1s currently in storage to mk2 status- providing adequate numbers of ASW helos for the RN increased fleet size- £100 million
    Design and prepare for next generation of MBT for army- challenger 3 using UK superior materials science to develop composite armour- aka an Russian Aramata killer- £3 billion- Army needs circa 400 of a new MBT.
    Increase Army, RAF and RN manpower by 15,000, 5000, 9000 respectively to provide a more numerous capability. Army to get another heavy strike/ armoured brigade, RAF to get additional squadrons of Poseidon and F35Bs
    Order next batch of F35b’s – so 48 more F35bs with current scheduling this could mean an in-service date of the next batch of 2023-2025- should be full production models as 2023 is the LRIP models ending date and the programme should ramp up to full production by then. £5.2 billion (at estimated price of £107 million each)
    Order another 9 Poseidon MPA aircraft to provide the UK with a large enough MPA force to cover UK wide territorial commitments and cover the UK, Greenland, Iceland gap and north sea/ Atlantic patrol requirements for NATO. (additional £2 billion)
    Taranis and other advanced UAV’s to be order for RAF and fleet air arm thereby enabling a low risk stealth strike capability against advanced opposition air defences S500/S400 series.
    Upgrade type 45 destroyers to become capable cruiser type vessels- 24 cell Mk41 VL system, Aster BMD upgrade, 5 inch main gun instead of 4.5 inch, fix propulsion systems- £2 bil

  2. My list would be far more modest and hopefully more achievable-2 more Type 31’s, definitely the Norwegian anti ship missile, 1 more Astute and an upgrade to the new OPV’s weaponary.Oh yes-and fixing the Type 45’s engines a priority

    • Yes. Mr B’s list is a good one if one ignores cost issues but with the NHS collapsing, social care collapsing, and police stations closing and police numbers dropping I just don’t see that amount of extra budget ever being made available so I would also be looking at a much more modest list such as yours. I like yours Geoff because you nail exactly the critical things to give biggest impact.

      One question and possible area of disagreement. You mention an “upgrade to the new OPV’s weaponary”. What are you thinking of? River B2 will never be up to serious war fighting so spending too much money there seems to me to be a waste. I’m not saying none, just not very much. Maybe up-gun the 30mm to a 57mm at most but I suspect a 76mm would be overkill. I would however definitely allocate money to purchase containerised drones such as Schiebel S-100 with LMM. Bringing that sort of technology into the RN would be applicable across more than just River and for River it would be a big uplift in its surveillance capabilities and ability to do a modest strike (take out a skiff or similar) at even over-the-horizon range.

      The thing I would add to your list would be to accelerate and expand the MARS SSS program which is currently planned and hopefully budgeted for 3 ships. I would expand that to 4 or even 5, make sure they are at least as big as the Tides with ability to reconfigure some of the stores space for choices of (1) hangar overflow to increase helicopter carrying capacity, (2) temporary bunking for troops, and (3) extra hospital space to augment core permanent hospital facilities. Given that the relatively cheap Bays managed to get a well dock into the design I would also hope MARS SSS might be able to do the same to give extra amphibious capacity and also be a disaster relief asset hence take the build budget for at least one of the extra hulls if not both of them from the aid budget. Do what we did with the Tides, build overseas and kit out in the UK, and they should be affordable (even better if a UK yard decided to bid this time and could match overseas build pricing). Having the extra 2 hulls over and above the 3 required for core SSS activities would also be very helpful in augmenting the Bays for the sort of taskings that they undertake at the moment.

  3. the EU could not careless as they are going forward with the EU army,the same one we tried to veto..it will only be time before they will start to pull out of NATO,making it more or less obsolete as they won,t fund 2 commitments…especially once we have finally left because they won,t have much money going into the EU pot..

  4. While the US increases their funding for European defence, the MSM tell us constantly that Trump is undermining European defence?

    • Part and parcel to the anti-Trump narrative. If the media actually told the truth about what’s really going on, and not pushing fake news, things would be clearer to people.

  5. As far as I can tell, despite the media desperately trying to find something to hurl at Trump that will actually stick, Trump has not yet put a foot wrong.
    the liberal elite just do not like a straight talking person telling them some home truths. As for the EU, unfortunately they are a hopeless bunch of corrupt individuals.

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