Georgette Mosbacher, US Ambassador to Poland in a social media post says that Poland, unlike Germany spends two percent of its GDP on NATO and that it would gladly welcome US troops on its soil.
The US Ambassador issued a tweet on Thursday in which she praised Poland’s record on defence spending.
“Unlike Germany, Poland respects its commitment to spend two percent of its GDP on NATO. Here in Poland, we would gladly welcome American troops who are currently stationed in Germany.”
Poland is just one of a handful of NATO states that spends two percent of its GDP on defence, in line with NATO recommendations. It is also a country that has actively pursued the presence of US troops and installations on its soil in answer to the threat posed by Russia on NATO’s eastern flank.
President Trump is coming to Poland in just over three weeks. It is already agreed that extra US troops will be deployed on a rotational basis in Poland as part of NATO’s east flank.
The US ambassador is either suggesting that the extra troops the US has committed will be coming from Germany. Or she may be suggesting that the US may in future wish to move many more troops from Germany to Poland, something which the US military has been reluctant to do.
It is true that the present US administration is irritated by Germany’s slow progress towards spending two percent of GDP on defence. It will also have noted that Germany public opinion is not favourable to either NATO or to the presence of US troops.
However, any large-scale movement of US troops from Germany to Poland would have big logistical, defence and diplomatic implications. It is doubtful whether such major policy changes would be announced by a US ambassador with a tweet.
And eyebrows will be raised by the part of the tweet in which Ms Mosbacher says that Poland would welcome US troops stationed in Germany to Poland. While reflecting both the political and the public mood, it is rather the role of the Polish government and not the ambassador of one of its allies to make such statements of welcome.