President Trump on Wednesday will make an announcement concerning US troop commitments in Poland while the European country debates a new military base dubbed by President Andrzej Duda as “Fort Trump,” according to Bloomberg.
“It will be a significant announcement on the future of the security partnership,” said a senior Trump administration official in Tuesday comments, who described the move as a “new facet of our military-to-military relationship” according to the Wall Street Journal.
One U.S. official said the U.S. military plans to call for deployment of about another 1,000 troops—on a rotational rather than on a permanent basis. They wouldn’t be combat troops, but rather, “enabling forces” with jobs like manning drones and undertaking logistics, the official said. –Wall Street Journal
Duda and Trump will meet on Wednesday at the White House according to administration officials, who added on condition of anonymity that the announcement would involve a greater US commitment to NATO.
They declined to say whether the announcement will involve the permanent stationing of U.S. troops in Poland. They also declined to say whether Trump will visit Poland later this year as part of the new commitment. Andrzej Dera, a minister at Duda’s chancellery in Warsaw, confirmed that a deal would be signed. –Bloomberg
“President Duda intents to sign an agreement that substantially boosts the U.S. military presence in Poland,” Dera told Polsat News on Wednesday, adding “It will be a boost to infrastructure and troops, but it won’t be a classic base like the U.S. has Ramstein in Germany.”
Polish leaders had originally requested that America establish a permanent station with a full Army brigade, however the Wednesday announcement will undoubtedly be used by Warsaw as a sign of political success.
Polish media earlier reported the deal bolsters some 4,000 troops the U.S. now rotates in and out of Poland by over 1,000 soldiers and envisages the European Union’s largest eastern member will cover the cost of upgrades of military infrastructure and related utility bills.
“Security is priceless and we can afford it,” Dera said.
Trump and Duda plan to take questions about the announcement at a joint news conference at the White House, planned for 2:10 p.m. local time. Duda’s visit comes 20 years after Poland joined NATO. –Bloomberg
Last year, President Trump slammed NATO members – demanding that they increase their defense spending targets to at least the 2% of GDP they previously committed to.
What good is NATO if Germany is paying Russia billions of dollars for gas and energy? Why are there only 5 out of 29 countries that have met their commitment? The U.S. is paying for Europe’s protection, then loses billions on Trade. Must pay 2% of GDP IMMEDIATELY, not by 2025.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2018
During his push, Trump held Poland up as a shining example of a country which has met its 2% goal, and has complimented the conservative Duda who has repeatedly locked horns with EU leaders over various issues – most relating to mass migration and rule of law issues.
According to Bloomberg, Trump and Duda will also discuss “trade, energy security and communications security, including U.S. efforts to block Huawei Technologies Co.’s access to 5G networks in Europe.”
Officials report that the US is also prepared to sell F-35 jets to Poland following their formal request.
Separately on Wednesday, the US and Poland announced an agreement to expand the country’s civil nuclear program, and that Warsaw had signed two LNG deals with US suppliers in October.