WARSAW – Earlier this month, the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita reported that US President Donald Trump could announce the decision to increase the US military presence in Poland during his planned visit to Warsaw on September 1. Apparently, the question has been confirmed.
Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced during a televised address on Monday that Warsaw and Washington had decided to increase the US military presence in the country.
“We can say: the decision to increase the number of American troops in Poland has been taken,” said Blaszczak.
Poland currently has about 4,000 US troops, who were mobilized in the country as part of the NATO mission after the Crimean reunification with Russia in 2014.
During the visit of Polish President Andrzej Duda to Washington in September, Trump announced that he planned to establish a permanent military base in Poland. The Polish counterpart offered to pay about $2 billion of the total costs and suggested that the base should be called Fort Trump .
The US ambassador to Poland, Georgette Mosbacher, also had earlier raised in February about the increase of the American herd.
It was reported on April 16 that Poland is nearing a deal with the U.S. to establish an American military base in the former Communist bloc country, according to people familiar with the matter — an outpost the Poles see as a deterrent to Russian aggression and that the Kremlin would likely consider a provocation.
If a deal is reached, President Donald Trump is considering traveling to Poland in the fall, in part to commemorate the agreement. But it’s unclear whether he fully supports the idea, even after he said during a September meeting with Polish President Andrzsej Duda that the U.S. was looking “very seriously” at establishing a base.
Trump has often criticized NATO allies for not spending enough toward their own defense, and he’s considered demanding that countries hosting U.S. forces pay the full cost of the bases, plus as much as a 50 percent premium for the privilege, according to people familiar with the matter. But the American president has an affinity for Poland, a NATO member whose government has repeatedly clashed with European Union leaders in Brussels over rule-of-law issues. Duda has employed Trump-style anti-migrant and nationalist rhetoric.