Commentary Military

Poland and US reach agreement on increased US military presence

Poland and the US have reached an agreement on the financing of the costs of the increased US military presence in Poland.

Poland will hand over 2 billion dollars for the modernization of military infrastructure, reports Rzeczpospolita daily.

The only further expense will be a much smaller sum for costs of utilities needed by the US forces. There will be no direct financial transfers from Poland to the US.

The location of the forces will not be close to the German border, as was considered earlier. But neither will they be close to the “Suwalki gap” on the north-east, the strategically critical area in which Russia could aim to cut the Baltic states from access to Poland and the rest of NATO. There is already a NATO force in place in Orzysz close to the Suwalki gap.

The “enduring presence” of the US in Poland is to be similar to that in Germany. It is to be based on “enablers” such as command systems, arms depots, airfields and ports which will allow for the transfer of larger units at a time of threat.

The agreement includes increasing the military presence by some 1,300 troops so that the contingent will number 6,000. This means that US military presence in Poland will be the fourth largest in Europe after Germany, the UK and Italy.

What’s more important is that it marks the beginning of expansion of the US military presence in Poland. It could in future include a F-35 air base covering Europe.

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