The US Congress has just approved a 2019 defense budget law that includes reference to a US military base in Poland. The document is now awaiting approval from President Donald Trump.
Congress has ratified its most recent defense budget law, worth $716 billion, with the addition of an amendment concerning US military disposition in Europe.
Called the “John McCain National Defense Authorisation Act” (NDAA), it also anticipates permanent US military bases in Poland. It now needs President Donald Trump’s approval.
The amendment calls for the Pentagon to submit their report to congressional defense committees by the 1st of March 2019. The Pentagon is to examine the effectiveness of moving such a combat team into Poland, including potential locations and the ability of Poland to host the forces. It is also set to monitor Russia’s reaction to the move.
The amendment also asks planners to consider whether “future growth in army end strength may be used to source additional forces” in Poland.
The force in Poland would consist of a single US brigade, which would amount to between fifteen-hundred to four thousand soldiers.
The Polish Defense Ministry has shown willingness to pay for some of the support. According to press reports, Poland would be able to provide as much as two billion USD to support the deployment of a permanent unit.
In the proposal, the ministry refers to “aggressive Russian actions”, such as those in Georgia in 2008 and in Ukraine in 2014. The American amendment states that “an increased U.S. permanent presence in Poland will give America the strategic flexibility it needs to confront and deter these threats”.