Obama Announces Billion Dollar Initiative to Strengthen European Security

President Barack Obama and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, June 3, 2014From the White House:  Today, I’m announcing a new initiative to bolster the security of our NATO allies here in Europe. Under this effort, and with the support of Congress, the United States will pre-position more equipment in Europe. We will be expanding our exercises and training with allies to increase the readiness of our forces. And I know President Komorowski is a great champion of the effort to modernize the Polish military and we welcome the announcement that he just made about an even greater commitment.

We’ll increase the number of American personnel — Army and Air Force units — continuously rotating through allied countries in Central and Eastern Europe. And we will be stepping up our partnerships with friends like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia as they provide for their own defense. I’m calling on Congress to approve up to $1 billion to support this effort, which will be a powerful demonstration of America’s unshakeable commitment to our NATO allies.

Excerpt from remarks by President Barack Obama and President Bronislaw Komorowski of Poland in a joint press conference, June 3, 2014.

From the White House:  [T]he President today called on Congress to support a European Reassurance Initiative of up to $1 billion, which will enable us in the next year to undertake measures to:

  • Increase exercises, training, and rotational presence across Europe but especially on the territory of our newer allies. Many of the U.S. air and ground forces participating in these activities would rotate from the United States.
  • As we have done in Poland, deploy detachments of U.S. planners to augment the capability of our allies to design and host a broad range of training and exercise opportunities.
  • Increase the responsiveness of U.S. forces to reinforce NATO by exploring initiatives such as the prepositioning of equipment and improvements to other reception facilities and infrastructure in Europe.
  • Increase participation by the U.S. Navy in NATO naval force deployments, including more persistent deployments to the Black and Baltic seas.
  • 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.

This initiative will build on existing tools and authorities and will be included in the Department of Defense’s FY 2015 Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) request to Congress.

Excerpt from White House Fact Sheet on the European Reassurance Initiative and Other U.S. Efforts in Support of NATO Allies and Partners.

Image: President Barack Obama and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski, June 3, 2014 (photo: Jakub Szymczuk/State Department)