Published: Thu, June 13, 2019

Trump mulls increasing United States troop levels in Poland

Trump mulls increasing United States troop levels in Poland

Trump signed the military deal with Polish president Andrzej Duda in Washington on Wednesday (12 June).

Trump agreed to deploy an additional 1,000 USA troops to Poland, where 4,000 are already stationed and to sell Poland more than 30 F35 fighter jets.

"They're going to put on a very small show for us and we're doing that because Poland has ordered 32 or 35 brand new F-35s at the highest level", Trump said.

USA troops were sent to Poland in 2016 in response to Russian involvement in Ukraine and NATO General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg has welcomed the news.

Trump's warm relationship with Duda marks a stark contrast with how most European Union leaders have approached the Polish President.

Trump said earlier the troop contingent could come from the USA force in Germany, which he has accused of paying too little for NATO's common defence. "I hope that we're going to have a great relationship with Russian Federation", said Trump.

"Poland will build a phenomenal facility in a very good location". The service members will be added to an existing force of about 4,500 USA troops that rotate in and out of Poland.

Duda's official website detailed the types of missions that USA forces would be conducting, which are largely in line with what Polish officials have been saying for months about the enhanced American presence. However, the U.S. Army already has a "mission command element" headquarters in Poznan, Poland to oversee Army operations in the country and that could be expanded.

The Eastern European nations have reached out to the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation for greater protection, fearing becoming the next target of Russia's military advance. US drones as well as special operations forces already operate in Poland.

President Duda has agreed to purchase about 30 of the planes for its air force.

"Our country vanished from the map of Europe after the attack of the Soviet Union against Poland".

The added troops come as the Trump administration broadens its security and economic alliances.

The United States already has troops in Poland as part of a 2016 agreement with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance in response to Moscow's annexation of Crimea from Poland's eastern neighbor Ukraine in 2014.

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said Wednesday that he approved of the agreement between Trump and Duda.

The increase in US forces in the region also reflects America's new national defense strategy that declares great-power competition with China and Russian Federation as a top priority.

"[It's] a clear message to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin that we're serious about deterring Russian aggression", Inhofe said in a prepared statement.

"They get hurt, unfortunately, too often, right?"

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