Budget proposals published by the US Department of Defense on 13 February were pivotal in three ways. They came as America disengaged from two long-running wars; as it sought to shift the strategic balance of its forces away from Europe and towards the Asia-Pacific; and as the Pentagon sought to enact significant spending cuts mandated by Congress. Since the themes had been indicated in previous announcements, the main interest was in the detail of the many cuts proposed for the military and its equipment programmes.

Budget proposals published by the US Department of Defense (DoD) on 13 February were pivotal in three ways. They came as America disengaged from two long-running wars; as it sought to shift the strategic balance of its forces away from Europe and towards the Asia-Pacific; and as the Pentagon sought to enact significant spending cuts mandated by Congress. Since the themes had been indicated in previous announcements, the main interest was in the detail of the many cuts proposed for the military and its equipment programmes. However, the budget's publication was the beginning rather than the end of the process: it shifted battles about specific reductions beyond the Pentagon hierarchy and into the political arena.

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Turkey: the attempted coup and its troubling aftermath

The military coup attempted in Turkey on 15 July 2016 fizzled out quickly. But President Tayyip Erdogan has accused preacher Fethullah Gulen and his followers of engineering the coup without substantiation, and is using it as a pretext to purge the government, judiciary and military.

European air combat capabilities

The UK's vote to leave the EU risks worrying NATO allies about its reliability as a defence partner. To allay this concern, the UK could expand its collaboration with Europe on aerospace projects.