Trump’s Budget Calls For A 25% Cut In Military Funding Meant To Deter Russia
President Donald Trump proposed a 25 percent cut to a military fund meant to offset Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. News.
Budget proposals for fiscal 2021 called for $4.5 billion for the European Deterrence Initiative, a fund that was started after Russia invaded parts of eastern Ukraine and annexed Crimea in 2014. The latest proposal is a significant drop from this year’s $6 billion and $6.5 billion the year before.
The EDI provides training, resources, and money for foreign governments throughout Europe, but has been frequently criticized by Trump. He previously allocated funds from the EDI to pay for a wall along the southern U.S. border after Congress refused to finance it.
While support for countries that face Russian aggression have enjoyed rare bipartisan support on Capitol Hill, backing has begun to crack as the president continues to voice skepticism for such programs.
A subsection of the overall budget known as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) is seen as a de facto slush fund for the Pentagon. All other funds within that proposed budget were slashing for the coming year, including support for local Afghan security forces, for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting the Islamic State group, and other international security partnerships.
Trump withheld a portion of the fund specifically designated for the support of Ukraine last summer, which prompted the whistleblower complaint and subsequent impeachment inquiry, which found that the president asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate a political rival.