Trump Says U.S. Considering Permanent Military Presence In Poland

Arturo Kim
September 19, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart said Tuesday they are exploring setting up a permanent U.S. military base in Poland, which could be named "Fort Trump". Trump said that the U.S. was considering such a move.

Trump said he is considering Poland's request to establish a permanent USA base in that country, but added that Poland "would pay the United States".

Trump said it was a sad situation but lauded the United States' work in Syria.

At the press conference, Duda said that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Poland, which was long dominated by Russian Federation and the Soviet Union, wants "a permanent American base in Poland".

Poland, Romania and the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania have been asking the USA for additional troops for several years.

"He would pay the United States, meaning Poland would be paying billions of dollars for a base", Trump said.

In addition to about 700 US cavalrymen positioned near Poland's border with the Russian military enclave of Kaliningrad, the country also is a main outpost for an Army armored brigade on rotation from the United States.

Duda noted Polish purchases of American arms and said he wants to buy more.

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Mr Trump, who seemed enticed by the offer, said he deemed the security of Poland "almost as important" to him as it is to the Polish president.

"The meeting between the two leaders in the White House today suggests that this strategy might prove successful".

Mr Duda's latest plea comes after Warsaw's defence ministry offered the USA up to £1.52billion ($2bn) to increase the United States presence in the country as a deterrent against a potential Russian aggression. Duda credited Trump for making Warsaw the first stop on the USA president's inaugural European trip past year and said Trump's outdoor address in Poland was a "very important moment" for the relationship between the two countries.

"We're looking at it very seriously, I know Poland likes the idea very much, and it's something that we are considering, yes", Trump said of the possibility, speaking to reporters in the Oval Office.

Later in the event, Trump and Duda took questions from the audience.

Trump said he agreed with Duda's arguments that Russian actions, especially the seizure of parts of Georgia and Ukraine, warranted a tough response. "I think Russian Federation has acted aggressively".

"They respect force. They respect strength as anyone does". Another concern is setting up a permanent base in Poland would cause a rift among North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members and chip away at alliance unity. Since taking office, the Polish government has unnerved Brussels with policies seen as restrictive of the courts and the news media, and is now in direct conflict with the European Union over its courts.

Last June, the United States sent its first shipment of liquified natural gas to Poland after its state-owned natural gas and oil company signed a five-year contract with a UK-based energy company with a branch in the United States.

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