Polish President Andrzej Duda expects an expansion of the United States military force stationed in Poland. According to analyst Ivan Konovalov, this issue is dictated by two main motives.
In an interview with the news agency PAP, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that Warsaw hopes that the American military contingent in Poland will be expanded.
On July 5, US President Donald Trump is arriving in Warsaw, as a stopover en route to Hamburg for the G20 Summit.
“I’m very glad that we have US troops. I hope there will be more of them,” Duda said.
He underscored that it is very important that US troops in Poland are part of the plan to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank.
“I’m going to discuss this issue with Trump,” Duda added.
Earlier, Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski told PAP that Poland hopes that Trump will “address the issue of a lasting US army presence in Poland, as well as talks on the future of the American military base in Redzikowo [northern Poland], which should be operational next year.”
In June, eight NATO members, including Poland, signed a joint declaration to deter and respond to military threats on the eastern flank of the alliance.
Currently, a US mechanized brigade comprising 3,500 personnel is stationed in Poland.
Ivan Konovalov, director of the Center for Political Environment think-tank, pointed out that there are two basic moments behind Warsaw’s call for an expanded US military presence.
“First of all, an intense expansion of American troops in Poland is about money. This is big money. Other countries, including the Baltics, also want that. A large sum of money is needed to maintain NATO’s infrastructure, and part of this money goes to the budget of the hosting country,” Konovalov told Radio Sputnik.
Second, according to the expert, Poland has the “critically important goal” of becoming “friend number one” of the United States in Eastern Europe.
“This is their principal goal, to have the right to promote Washington’s policy in the region and dictate its will to other regional players. This status will be confirmed if the US military presence in Poland is maximized,” Konovalov said.
At the same time, the expert expressed doubt that Washington will expand its military force in the eastern European country.
“The Americans are unlikely to do that in the coming future. First, it’s expensive. Second, they already signaled to Warsaw that their troops were there to protect the country from the mythical ‘Russian threat,'” he concluded.