Russia has repeatedly warned that NATO’s attempts to expand on its borders, as well as more recently amass troops and equipment, constitute provocative acts that are contrary to previous agreements and can undermine regional and global stability. Since 2014, the United States and NATO have been focused on rebuilding military capacity and force readiness in Europe under the European Reassurance Initiative (ERI).

Breedlove explained that under ERI, NATO will preposition its second “heavy force” in Europe, which he said “will be used, not for practicing, but for warfighting.” In early February, the US Department of Defense requested a Europe-related defense budget of $3.4 billion for fiscal year 2017. The United States and NATO’s European Reassurance Initiative (ERI) is a return to a posture of deterrence against Russia, General Philip Breedlove told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee on Thursday. READ MORE