Progress with enlarged US military presence in Poland: deputy def min

The US military presence in Poland is on the negotiating table and according to the statement made by Poland’s deputy Defence Minister Tomasz Szatkowski and the US Under Secretary of Defence for Policy John C. Rood, markable progress has been made with this regard.

Following their meeting on May 10 in the Pentagon, both statesmen ensured in a joint statement that “the U.S. Department of Defense and the Polish Ministry of National Defence are making good progress and will continue discussions” on the US extended presence in Poland.

The statement reads that Mr Szatkowski and Mr Rood “continued bilateral discussions today to explore options to enhance the security of NATO’s eastern flank through an increased, enduring presence of U.S. forces and capabilities in Poland that would be supported by the Government of Poland.”

Saturday May 10 talks were “just a small part of a strong and longstanding bilateral defense relationship based on promoting the security and prosperity of Poland, the United States, and the entire region. A deeper, more collaborative U.S.-Poland security partnership is critical in meeting current security threats and challenges. This is transatlantic solidarity in action: Europeans and North Americans working as one for our shared security,” the statement reads.

The enlarged presence of US troops in Poland is to be discussed by the Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak during his visit to the US in June.

“The extended presence of US troops is a good deal for Poland, the US and the whole NATO. We expect good news on this matter soon. The workgroup is working continuously, presently I will be visiting the US personally in order to bring the matter down to the last detail,” tweeted Mr Błaszczak.

Poland has been seeking to acquire an enlarged US military presence on its territory. So far, the US troops presence in Poland has been of a permanent rotational nature. In September 2018, President Andrzej Duda expressed his hope that the so-called “Fort Trump” US military base could be built jointly by both states in Poland.

One stimulus for the augmented US military presence in Poland was the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. As part of the Atlantic Resolve operation, a US armoured brigade is stationed in the Polish bases in Żagań, Świętoszów, Skwierzyń and Bolesławiec. Troops rotation takes place every two months.