From 2014 to 2019, the Deterrence Initiative’s budget ballooned from $1 billion to $6.5 billion; Trump himself has pushed for increases to the program in his budget proposals.
The messaging is bad, and it’s compounded with all the other bad things Trump has done to harm relations with Europe.”.
But Polyakova argued that the move adds to a growing trust deficit between the U.S. and Europe in the Trump era.
Already, the administration is withholding $250 million in annual military aid to Ukraine that is intended to deter Russia, sparking bipartisan frustration on Capitol Hill.
“You have this, withholding aid from Ukraine, the sanctions policy on Russia, it’s really confusing if you’re in Kiev or Warsaw.”.
“They were looking for easy targets,” said Farkas of the administration’s raiding of European deterrence funds.
“There is no natural constituency for overseas projects, so it seems to be the least politically painful way to go. »