Tuesday, June 3, 2014
WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- For the past two decades, the United States has been moving toward a smaller military presence in Europe. But an announcement today from President Barack Obama represents a significant departure from that trend.
Speaking in Poland today, Obama said the United States is preparing to boost its military presence in Europe at a cost of up to $1 billion. The announcement comes as tensions in the region simmer over Russia's aggressive actions in Ukraine.
Obama said the U.S. plans to send more military equipment and rotate additional U.S. troops into the region. He called on Congress to provide the funding.
The announcement came at the start of a three-country swing through Europe. Obama meets tomorrow with Ukraine's newly-elected president.
Obama said he wants the U.S. and Ukraine to have good relations with Russia. But in a warning to Moscow, Obama said the U.S. has contingency plans to protect every member of NATO.
At the same time, he called on other NATO members to step up by increasing their own role in the alliance's collective defense.
Obama and Russia's Vladimir Putin could cross paths later this week in France at the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Obama said today that it's possible for the U.S. to rebuild trust with Putin, but that it would take time.
(Copyright 2014. The Associated Press.)