Not only do freedom of navigation operations occur with adversary countries like Iran, but also with allied countries such as the Philippines and Malaysia.
“Early last week we were well aware of the threats,” Hagel testified.
The increase of US military assistancewill be used “to help identify and respond to violations of Baltic airspace,” a defense official said Wednesday.
“The strategy articulated [in the budget] I believe is the right strategy given the reality we face,” Hagel said.
On Wednesday the Russia military announced large-scale military exercises near Ukraine’s borders.
“Our alliance can endure only as long as we are willing to fight for it, and invest in it.”
Both Democrats and Republicans slammed the proposal.
Active-duty troops serving in the Army would be reduced by as much as 72,000 under the $496 billion 2015 budget proposal.
It is customary for Hagel to reach out to counterparts, especially in times of political strife.