Pentagon chief seeks NATO spending boost to counter Russia

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US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter testifies before the House Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 17, 2015

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter will visit his European counterparts this week to take stock of cooperation with NATO in the wake of Russian aggression in Crimea and Ukraine. The visit comes as officials say Washington’s relationship with the Western military bloc is at its strongest in decades. “This month the US and NATO have achieved their highest operational tempo of training and exercises since Cold War,” a US defense official said Friday.

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