A NATO Message for Mr. Putin

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Dec. 3, 2015[W]e’re glad to see the Obama Administration finally doing more to secure NATO’s eastern front against Russia ….

The White House announced Tuesday that its fiscal 2017 budget includes $3.4 billion for the Pentagon’s European Reassurance Initiative, or ERI, up from $789 million. The Pentagon launched the ERI in 2014 following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.

The breakthrough in this year’s budget is that the Pentagon plans to outfit and deploy a brigade-size force that will rotate positions across NATO’s front line, including in Poland and the Baltics. The brigade will be combat-ready and able to call on heavy equipment that will be pre-positioned on the Continent.

The combat brigade represents a substantial improvement on the current deployment of about 150 U.S. soldiers rotating into Poland and each of the Balts for joint training.

Image: Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, Dec. 3, 2015 (photo: Sgt. Adrian Cadiz/Department of Defense)