Obama announces $1 billion security plan for Eastern Europe
President Barack Obama assured Poland and its eastern European neighbors on Tuesday that the U.S. commitment to their security was sacrosanct at the start of a four-day trip meant to show U.S. resolve after the Russian intervention in Ukraine.
The White House unveiled plans for a $1 billion initiative to send more of its military to Europe on a temporary basis but stopped short of promising to beef up its permanent presence as some of Washington’s allies are seeking. It said the United States would review its force presence on the continent.
Obama launched a major tour of Europe in Warsaw where he will attend celebrations of the 25th anniversary of Poland’s first free elections that put both the country and the rest of eastern Europe on a path out of Moscow’s orbit and toward democracy and growing prosperity.
Speaking in an aircraft hangar at Warsaw airport where he met U.S. airmen taking part in a joint program with the Polish air force, Obama said U.S. commitments to Poland and the region were a cornerstone of the United States’ own security.
“As friends and allies we stand united together,” said Obama, whose two-day stay in Warsaw will include meetings with Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko and other central and eastern European leaders.
“Our commitment to Poland’s security as well as the security of our allies in central and eastern Europe is a cornerstone of our own security and it is sacrosanct,” Obama said.
(White House Photo/Lawrence Jackson)