The US President Barack Obama has asked Congress to provide $58.6bn to the US Department of Defense (DoD), to support overseas contingency operations (OCO), beginning 1 October.

Despite being $21bn less than last year, the 2015 OCO budget request is believed to provide the resources needed to safeguard the US and its interests.

Pentagon press secretary navy rear admiral John Kirby said: "This is nearly $21bn less than last year’s OCO request, representing a 26% reduction in OCO funding, as our nation concludes 13 years of war and our mission in Afghanistan transitions to a training, advisory and assistance role post-2014.

"The 2015 OCO budget request is believed to provide the resources needed to safeguard the US and its interests."

"These funds will help us improve the security of our Nato allies and partner states by increasing exercises, improving European infrastructure and allowing us to enhance the prepositioning of US equipment in Europe."

The request also supports the State Department and other government agencies not covered by the base budgets, and funds temporary and extraordinary expenses associated with military operations in Afghanistan, as well as counter-terrorism initiatives.

Designed to help build the counter-terrorism capacity of partner states, the budget request asks for $5bn for the counter-terrorism partnerships fund, which helps authorities respond to a range of terrorist threats and develop crisis response scenarios.

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If approved, around $500m is expected to be used to train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition, helping them to defend against attacks by the Assad regime.

The budget request also seeks $1bn for Obama’s proposed European Reassurance Initiative, in the wake of Russia’s role in the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

Defence Technology