Pentagon will Ausgaben für US-Soldaten und Gerät in Europa vervierfachen



Die USA wollen künftig für die Stationierung von Truppen und Gerät in Europa und für Übungen an der Ostflanke der NATO mehr als vier Mal so viel ausgeben wie bisher. Der nächste Verteidigungshaushalt solle 3,4 Milliarden US-Dollar dafür vorsehen, sagte US-Verteidigungsminister Ashton Carter am (heutigen) Dienstag bei der Vorstellung des Budgetplans für das so genannte Fiscal Year 2017. Bislang waren es rund 800 Millionen US-Dollar. Grund für die massive Aufstockung ist die Gegnerschaft zu Russland, das bereits in der kürzlich veröffentlichten Strategie des U.S. European Command als Hauptproblem bezeichnet wurde.

Aus Carters Rede zu den Haushaltsplänen vor dem Economic Club of Washington:

Another near-term investment in the budget is how we are reinforcing our posture in Europe to support our NATO allies in the face of Russia’s aggression – in Pentagon parlance, this is called the European Reassurance Initiative – and 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.

That will fund a lot of things: more rotational U.S. forces in Europe, more training and exercising with our allies, more preposition and war-fighting gear and infrastructure improvements to support all this. And when combined with U.S. forces already in and assigned to Europe — though also substantial — all of this together by the end of 2017 will let us rapidly form a highly-capable combined arms ground force that can respond across that theater, if necessary.

Der gesamte Verteidigungshaushalt wird nach Carters Worten 582,7 Milliarden US-Dollar umfassen – da wirken die 3,4 Milliarden vergleichsweise bescheiden. Allerdings ordnen sie sich ein in die Gesamtsicht des Pentagon, bei der Russland die größte Herausforderung für die Vereinigten Staaten ist, gefolgt von China, Nordkorea, Iran und den ISIS-Terrormilizen:

I’ve talked with President Obama about this a great deal over the last year and as a result, we have five, in our minds, evolving challenges that have driven the focus of the Defense Department’s planning and budgeting this year.
Two of these challenges reflect a return to great power of competition.  First is in Europe, where we’re taking a strong and balanced approach to deter Russian aggression, and we haven’t had to worry about this for 25 years; while I wish it were otherwise, now we do.  Second is in the Asia-Pacific, where China is rising and where we’re continuing and will continue our rebalance, so-called, to maintain the stability in the region that we have underwritten for 70 years and that’s allowed so many nations to rise and prosper and win.  That’s been our presence.
Third challenge is North Korea – a hardy perennial – a threat to both us and to our allies, and that’s why our forces on the Korean Peninsula remain ready every single day, today, tomorrow, to, as we call it, fight tonight.
Iran is the fourth challenge, because while the nuclear deal was a good deal and doesn’t limit us in the Defense Department in any way – none of its provisions affect us or limit us – we still have to counter Iran’s malign influence against our friends and allies in the region, especially Israel.
And challenge number five is our ongoing fight to defeat terrorism and especially ISIL, most immediately in its parent tumor in Iraq and Syria, and also, where it is metastasizing in Afghanistan, Africa and elsewhere.  All the time, we protect — all the while, we’re protecting our homeland and our people.
While ISIL must and will be defeated now, in the longer perspective we must also take into account in our budget that as destructive power of greater and greater magnitude falls into the hands of smaller and smaller and more aberrant groups of people, countering terrorists will likely be a continuing part of the future responsibilities of defense and national security leaders far into the future as I can see.

Und Russland ist – wie China – aus US-Sicht ein potenzieller Gegner, bei dem es vor allem auf die eigene Hochrüstung ankommt. Das unterscheidet den Ansatz vom Umgang mit Nordkorea, Iran und ISIS:

To be clear, the U.S. military will fight very differently in coming years than we have in Iraq and Afghanistan or in the rest of the world’s recent memory.
We will be prepared for a high-end enemy.  That’s what we call full spectrum.  In our budget, our plans, our capabilities and our actions, we must demonstrate to potential foes, that if they start a war, we have the capability to win.  Because a force that can deter conflict must show that it can dominate a conflict.
In this context, Russia and China are our most stressing competitors.  They have developed and are continuing to advance military systems that seek to threaten our advantages in specific areas.  And in some case, they are developing weapons and ways of wars that seek to achieve their objectives rapidly, before they hope, we can respond.
Because of this and because of their actions to date, from Ukraine to the South China Sea, DOD has elevated their importance in our defense planning and budgeting.  While we do not desire conflict of any kind with either of these nations — and let me be clear, though they pose similar defense challenges, they’re otherwise very different nations and situations – we also cannot blind ourselves to the actions they appear to choose to pursue.

Die Ausrichtung und auch die Zahlen sind nach Carters Worten keine Kurzfrist-Anstrengung. Mit seinen Worten: In this budget, we’re taking the long view.  We have to, because even as we fight today’s fights, we must also be prepared for the fights that might come, 10, 20 or 30 years down the road.

(Zur Erläuterung: Das Fiscal Year 2017 umfasst den Zeitraum vom Oktober 2016 bis zum September 2017)

Und eine Ergänzung: Die Military Times hat noch ein paar Einzelheiten zur Aufstockung in Europa:

The Pentagon plans to send several thousand additional troops to Europe next year to boost the region’s defense against Russia, a new recognition that the former Cold War foe is once again a major global rival, defense officials said.
The troops, most of them soldiers coming from the continental United States, will move into Eastern Europe on a rotational basis, providing for the first time an essentially permanent presence of American forces in places like Poland and the Baltics, according to defense officials familiar with the plan.
The plan will likely involve a brigade-size force — or between 3,000 and 5,000 soldiers — and will also include placing stocks of well-maintained gear and ammunition in forward locations across NATO’s eastern flank, defense officials said.

(Foto: Pvt. Jacob Smith, an infantryman assigned to Ghost Troop, 2nd Squadron, 2d Cavalry Regiment provides security using his M249 light machine gun while helping his unit conduct reconnaissance patrols during their Squad Tactical Exercise as a part of Allied Spirit IV, being held at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC,) located in Hohenfels, Germany, Jan. 20, 2016 – U.S. Army photo by Sgt. William A. Tanner)