Eastern European Allies Want More US Air Force

US allies in Eastern Europe are growing increasingly concerned about “snap exercises” by Russia and are pushing for the US to make increased funding to work alongside them permanent, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said. James recently returned from visiting eight European countries, including the Baltic states and Ukraine, to focus on how the Air Force can assuage allied concerns about the increasingly threatening stance of Russia in the area, particularly following the country’s incursion into Crimea. “Those closest have the greatest concerns” about Russia, James said, noting those are the countries making the NATO commitment of spending at least two percent of their gross domestic product on defense spending. James said allied nations in the region were happy to hear that the US was aiming to quadruple the amount of funding on its European Reassurance Initiative, though they would like to see the increases permanent. There’s no concern of the US abandoning them, though “every country wants more US Air Force,” James said.