Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pentagon Officials Defend European Reassurance Initiative

Pentagon officials on Wednesday assured members of Congress that the United Kingdom is still a strong ally to U.S. and NATO, despite its recent decision to leave the European Union.
"We have a very close relationship ... with the United Kingdom," Rachel Ellehuus, principal director of Europe and NATO Policy for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, told members of the House Armed Services Committee's Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee.
In the wake of its recent Brexit vote, the U.K. has reinforced its commitment to a number of important initiatives, Ellehuus said.
U.K. officials "have publicly committed at the Farnborough airshow" to purchase nine P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft and 50 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters, she said.
In addition to the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Canada have agreed to station four battalions on Europe's eastern flank to bolster efforts to deter Russian aggression, Ellehuus said.
Pentagon officials testified at the July 13 hearing to brief lawmakers on the European Reassurance Initiative.  more