US President Donald J. Trump plans to send 1,000 more troops to Poland in the coming months, a move that will be welcomed by the Polish government but which falls short of the establishment of a permanent American military base that Warsaw has been pushing for in recent months.
The Polish President’s Chief-of-Staff, Krzysztof Szcerski, told the press that he expects te US presence in Poland to increase in “terms of quality and quantity”. This sentiment was echoed by Defence Minister Mariusz Blaszak, who told the press during his recent visit to Washington that the two sides had been working on a deal for some time.
Since the July 2016 Warsaw NATO summit, the Western allies have deployed four rotating battalions in Poland and the Baltic States, part of a robust response to thwart Moscow’s ambitions in Eastern Europe after Russia launched an invasion of and later fomented a pro-Kremlin separatist rebellion in neighbouring Ukraine in 2014.
During a visit to Washington in September 2018, Polish President Andrzej Duda offered $2 billion in Polish matching funds to develop a permanent US military base in the country.
The US will go beyond troops to strengthen command capabilities, logistics and special forces, as well as improving both the quantity and quality of its presence on the ground, according to Duda.
The announcement underscores a new political relationship between Warsaw and Washington who see eye-to-eye on most strategic issues also across the political agenda, including migration and the role of the nation-state.
Poland is poised to buy F-35s as well as a number of US defence systems, including the possibility of acquiring highly sophisticated surface-to-air missile capabilities.