Poland IN interviewed America specialist Prof. Zbigniew Lewicki on President Trump’s meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda. The academic believes President Trump is trying to save money and to send rich countries a message.
See full interview here.
Presidents Duda and Trump will meet in Washington DC on Wednesday 24 June, just four days before Poland votes in a presidential election. The meeting is expected to boost President Duda’s chances and to help Poland improve its security via the enlargement of the US military presence in the country.
President Trump last week announced that America is to pull out almost 10,000 of its 35,000 troops from Germany and Poland hopes that some of them will strengthen NATO’s eastern flank. But President Trump is himself facing re-election in November at a time when the US is suffering from the pandemic and serious unrest caused by protests against racism.
Prof. Lewicki argues that President Trump wants to save money and pursue his “America First” policy with the decision to withdraw troops from Germany. But he also wants to send a message to rich West European countries that they must do more and spend more on their security rather than having America subsidise their social spending.
The Polish academic recognises that this is a challenge to NATO objectives in Europe but could help with securing the eastern flank of NATO if, as expected, more troops are deployed in Poland. However, prof. Lewicki cautions against Poland becoming trapped between loyalty to the US and the EU. He argues that Poland needs to disentangle the issue of troops moving out of Germany from the need for more US troops in Poland.
The problem is that, according to prof. Lewicki, President Trump wants to humiliate Germany which has confronted him in NATO and over trade. This makes Poland’s position awkward.
Poland too close for comfort on links with Trump?
Prof. Lewicki did not feel Poland was getting too close to the present US administration. He said that junior countries like Poland cannot “play games in the internal politics of others.” Any contacts with US opposition have to be done on the quiet by diplomats and not in any way alienate contacts with the administration in Washington on which the security of Poland depends.
Zbigniew Lewicki, as a keen watcher of US politics, felt that President Trump had a reasonable chance of getting re-elected. Since elections in the US are decided by the state of the economy the incumbent could benefit from a strong rebound from the pandemic and American dislike of lockdowns.
He also felt that the BLM movement was falling into the same trap as the PC movement. It was becoming extreme with demands such as defunding the police and that could damage the Democrats and help the Republicans.
Prof. Lewicki believes that part of Donald Trump’s appeal comes from his ‘tough guy’ image of being in charge. Joe Biden does not come across as someone in charge, felt the professor.
Finally, the professor believes that Donald Trump’s problem lies not in the lack of powers of the President on the domestic front but with his business CEO style of management. Government and politics do not square easily with such a style, argued prof. Lewicki.