The Pentagon to quadruple European defence budget in 2017 in light of "Russian aggression"

Defence secretary spoke of massive budget hikes during Economic Club speech

While giving a speech to the Economic Club in Washington, U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter has announced that the country plans to quadruple the budget spent on European defences in light of "Russian aggression".

The current defence budget for the region is $789 million, but in 2017, the Pentagon's proposed budget will include $3.4 billion as part of the European Reassurance Initiative.

"We're taking a strong and balanced approach to deter Russian aggression," he said. "We haven't had to worry about this for 25 years, and while I wish it were otherwise, now we do. [...] Key to our approach is being able to deter our most advanced competitors."

"We must have - and be seen to have - the ability to impose unacceptable costs on an advanced aggressor that will either dissuade them from taking provocative action or make them deeply regret it if they do."

The increased funds, according to Secretary Carter, will allow for a greater number of troops to be deployed in European bases, as well as $1.8 billion to be spent on over 45,000 on laser-guided missiles and smart bombs.

"We must have - and be seen to have - the ability to impose unacceptable costs on an advanced aggressor that will either dissuade them from taking provocative action or make them deeply regret it if they do."