May 29, 2019

Inside America’s multimillion-dollar plan to get allies off Russian equipment

Featuring Jim Townsend

Source: Defense News

Journalist Aaron Mehta

When the Soviet Union fell, many of the former Warsaw Pact nations founded their new militaries on the back of leftover military equipment. And in the thaw of the Cold War, many of those same nations invested in Russian gear, often cheaper than its American equivalents.

But following Russia’s invasion of Ukrainian territory in 2014, those same countries found themselves scrambling to cut the cord with Russian military contractors and turn towards the West. But with limited defense budgets, that has proven easier said than done.

To address the issue, the U.S. State Department has, in the last year, quietly launched a new program known as the European Recapitalization Incentive Program (ERIP), a new tool developed with U.S. European Command to try and speed the process of getting allied nations off Russian gear. As envisioned, it targets Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Greece, North Macedonia and Slovakia.

Read the full article and more in Defense News.

  • Jim Townsend

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Transatlantic Security Program

    James Joye Townsend Jr. is an adjunct senior fellow in the CNAS Transatlantic Security Program. After eight years as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for European ...