What Happened: After a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Polish counterpart, Andrzej Duda, in Washington on June 12, the two leaders announced that the United States would add 1,000 military personnel to the forces it has already stationed in Poland. An agreement formalizing the deployment is expected to be completed during a September visit by Trump to Poland.
Why It Matters: This confirms long-discussed plans for the United States to increase its military presence in Poland. While it will not likely come in the form of a new, division-sized military base that Poland had initially proposed, the more modest troop increase nevertheless indicates a strengthened security commitment by Washington to Poland as a bulwark against Russia.
Background: Poland is one of the few NATO states that have met the alliance's target of spending at least 2 percent of gross domestic product on defense, a threshold that Trump has insisted be met. Additionally, the Polish government has positioned itself as a key backer for U.S. initiatives concerning NATO and the European Union.
- In Poland, a Fixed U.S. Presence Will Warrant a Russian Response (June 7, 2019)
- Poland: Warsaw's Push for a U.S. Base Faces an Uphill Climb (Sept. 19, 2018)
- Belarus, the Borderlands and the U.S.-Russia Standoff (June 7, 2018)