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Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on March 17, 2016. DOD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz​.

The Defense Department’s request to quadruple its funding for European reassurance is needed, because without it the US would not be able to put the “full might of the US military behind NATO in event of a crisis,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter told lawmakers. The Pentagon requested $3.4 billion in funding for the European Reassurance Initiative in its Fiscal 2017 budget, up from $700 million, as a way of “adjusting to a fact that we haven’t had to face for a quarter century, that we have a Russia that is threatening western Europe,” Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. “We need a new playbook,” he added. The funding would help build infrastructure at airbases in Europe, preposition equipment throughout the continent, and increase training exercises with allies. (See also: Following the Money in Europe.)