#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON – June 03 – U.S. President Barack Obama promised on Tuesday to beef up military support for eastern European members of the NATO alliance who fear they could be next in the firing line after the Kremlin’s intervention in Ukraine.
Under attack from critics at home who say his leadership on the world stage has not been muscular enough, Obama unveiled plans to spend up to $1 billion in supporting and training the armed forces of NATO states on Russia’s borders.
The White House also said it would review permanent troop deployments in Europe in the light of the Ukraine crisis — though that fell short of a firm commitment to put troops on the ground that Poland and some of its neighbours had sought.
Stationing troops permanently in eastern Europe would be tricky: many NATO members in Western Europe would baulk at the cost, and a big increase in U.S. forces could prompt reciprocal steps by Moscow and spiral into an arms race.
Moments after landing at Warsaw’s Okecie airport at the start of a four-day visit to Europe, Obama set the tone by striding into an aircraft hangar to inspect U.S. fighter jets in Poland for a joint program with the Polish air force.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) March 29 2014 – From the heart of Europe to the expanse of Saudi Arabia’s desert, President Barack Obama’s week long overseas trip amounted to a reassurance tour for stalwart, but sometimes skeptical, American allies.
Europe is a crucial linchpin in Obama’s efforts to rally the international community in opposition to Russia’s incursion in Ukraine, but the continent’s leaders have concerns about the impact tougher Western sanctions on Moscow could have on their own economy.
Saudi Arabia has a hand in nearly every Middle East crisis consuming White House attention, including the Syrian civil war, nuclear negotiations with Iran and peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, but has grown anxious about Obama’s positioning in the region.