Pentagon chief unveils extra funds to counter Russia, fight IS


US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter on Tuesday announced a big boost in military spending to counter Russia and raise the US presence in eastern Europe, while also stepping up the fight against the Islamic State group.

The total budget for fiscal year 2017 will be $583 billion, Carter said, far surpassing that of any other country and exceeding the combined defense spending of the next eight biggest militaries in the world.

The budget includes $3.4 billion — quadruple the amount spent last year — for operations in Europe to deter Russian “aggression,” Carter said.

“We’re reinforcing our posture in Europe to support our NATO allies in the face of Russia’s aggression,” Carter said.

“That’ll fund a lot of things. More rotational US forces in Europe, more training and exercises with our allies, more prepositioned war fighting gear, and infrastructure improvements to support it.”

Additionally, the United States will spend $7.5 billion — a 50 per cent increase from last year — to fund the fight against the Islamic State group. He noted that the 18-month US-led air campaign against the extremists in Iraq and Syria has depleted US bomb stocks.

“We’ve recently been hitting ISIL with so many GPS-guided smart bombs and laser-guided rockets that we’re starting to run low on the ones we use against terrorists the most,” Carter said, using an acronym for the IS group.

“So we’re investing $1.8 billion dollars in 2017 to buy over 45,000 more of them.”

He also said America would continue to invest in futuristic technologies such as the rail-gun, which can shoot projectiles at a massive velocity, and swarming micro-drones.


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