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Pentagon Requests Billions to Support NATO Allies in Europe - Carter

© AP Photo / Manish SwarupUS Defense Secretary Ashton Carter
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter - Sputnik International
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The US Department of Defense (DOD) will quadruple its funding to support forces in Europe and will request $3.4 billion in 2017 budget to support its NATO allies in the region, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said in at the Economic Club in Washington, DC on Tuesday.

NEW YORK (Sputnik) — Moreover, Carter labeled Russia among the top five emerging challenges for the US Department of Defense. The list also includes China, North Korea, Iran and the Islamic State (IS, Daesh in Arabic).

"Another near term investment in the budget is how we’re reinforcing our posture in Europe to support our NATO allies…After requesting about $800 million for last year, this year we’re more than quadrupling it for a total of $3.4 billion in 2017," Carter said.

NATO country flags wave outside NATO headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday July 28, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The US defense secretary explained that the sharp increase in US military spending in Europe in necessary "in the face of Russia’s aggression."

Since 2014, US-Russia relations have been in a constant state of strain, as the West has accused Russia of aggression in Ukraine, following the reunification of Crimea, and has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Following the 2014 reunification of Crimea with Russia, Washington cut military to military ties with Moscow. NATO followed the US lead and unilaterally severed ties with Russia in April 2014.

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