Development and Implications of The European Deterrence Initiative Open Access Deposited
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The recent shift in geopolitics towards renewed great power competition, demonstrated by Russian actions in Ukraine, caused the United States to undertake a new program to assure NATO alliance members and deter further Russian actions. This paper covers the development, implementation, and adaptation of that U.S. effort, dubbed the European Deterrence Initiative. The history of this program paints a story of crisis and response on both sides of the Atlantic. With the U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force all contributing plans and resources, the United States military charted a hasty path towards stability on the Eastern flank of NATO. The subsequent budgetary, political, and operational developments of the European Deterrence Initiative provide a valuable case study of contemporary U.S. strategies to meet near-peer competitors. Across both the Obama and Trump administrations, the program has had the effect of reaffirming the longstanding American policy of solidarity and commitment to European security. By continuing the European Deterrence Initiative at current funding levels for the near term, the United States can stabilize and reinvigorate the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance as a cornerstone of its global security strategy.