It is no secret that U.S. President Donald Trump is leery of funding Europe’s defense, believing that NATO members on The Continent should pay more for their own security. The budget blueprint released by The White House last week confirmed this way of thinking as support for the European Defense Initiative started under President Obama saw reductions.
Budget proposals for fiscal 2021 released Monday afternoon call for 4.5 billion US dollars for the European Deterrence Initiative (EDI), a fund started by the Obama administration in the aftermath of Russia’s 2014 invasion of parts of eastern Ukraine and annexation of the Crimean peninsula. The latest proposal represents a precipitous drop from the 6 billion dollars enacted for the current fiscal year and 6.5 billion dollars the year before. Congress approved funding in line with administration requests for those years, says the report quoted by Postimees, reported The Baltic Times.
The cut would not affect just the EDI, as Trump’s wish is to reduce the entire budget of overseas contingency operations from the current 71.3 billion dollars to 69 billion dollars.
The draft document sets out five points that will be followed in pursuing the objectives of the EDI, which are increasing US presence in Europe, additional training exercises with allies and partners, prepositioning of US equipment in Europe, developing infrastructure for increasing readiness, and developing the capabilities of allies and partners, Postimees said.
It is worth noting that Germany barely spends over 1% of its GDP for defense, preferring to enjoy its spot under the American nuclear umbrella, and all the while making itself dependent on Russia gas.
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