National Security: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has ramped up defense spending to counter what he now admits is a Russian menace to Europe. Better late than never, but the question remains how it came to this.
Carter said that the Pentagon would quadruple 2017 military spending in defense of Europe — to $3.4 billion from the current $789 million — to reassure our allies that the U.S. remains committed to the region, in what’s called the European Reassurance Initiative.
It makes sense, because even as Europe is facing barbarians of all stripes at its gates, by far the most militarily advanced and aggressive of them is Russia, which in the past ten years has spent $730 billion to modernize its military, spending from the large cash pile that it earned in the days of high oil prices.
“We’re reinforcing our posture in Europe to support our NATO allies in the face of Russia’s aggression,” Carter told the Economic Club of Washington Tuesday. “We haven’t had to worry about this for 25 years, and while I wish it were otherwise, now we do.”
And maybe that’s where the problem lies. A ramp-up of this suddenly large proportion is an implicit admission of neglect. It’s a move to catch up. And it’s reminiscent of Jimmy Carter’s late-in-his-term increase in defense spending after years of soporific inaction.Read the rest of this IBD editorial HERE.
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