United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, signed an agreement with his Polish counterpart in Warsaw, that will result in an increased American military presence in the country. The move came after President Donald Trump’s decision to draw down forces in Germany, over the country’s failures to meet its NATO spending requirements.
The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement was signed by Pompeo and Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. The agreement will give U.S. armed forces greater access to Polish military infrastructure and will create a framework for a sharing of costs between the two nations for the American military presence.
The agreement will also lay the groundwork for a redeployment of American troops to Poland from Germany.
In a statement from the White House, President Donald Trump said: “The agreement will enhance our military cooperation and increase the United States’s military presence in Poland to further strengthen NATO deterrence, bolster European security, and help ensure democracy, freedom, and sovereignty.”
“This is going to be an extended guarantee: a guarantee that in case of a threat our soldiers are going to stand arm-in-arm,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said at the signing ceremony.
“It will also serve to increase the security of other countries in our part of Europe,” the Polish leader said.
“The opportunities are unlimited, the resources will be available,” Pompeo said at a news conference alongside Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.
Germany claims Trump’s troop withdrawal hurts the NATO alliance, despite the country failing to meet its own spending requirements https://t.co/PTxPGkIALR
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 16, 2020
At present, there are some 4,500 American troops stationed in Poland, with an additional 1,000 to be deployed to the Eastern European nation.
The move comes one month after President Trump announced a reduction in forces from Germany, pledging to relocate troops to other European countries, including Poland.
The Pentagon later confirmed that 12,000 U.S. troops would be moved out of Germany, of which 5,600 would be redeployed across the continent. Seven U.S. military commands will also be moved from Germany to Poland, including the headquarters of the U.S. Army V Corps.
Trump has long been critical of Germany for its failures to meet the spending requirements for members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In 2014, all NATO members pledged to spend at least two per cent of their respective gross domestic products on defence spending by the year 2024.
According to the latest figures released from the military alliance, Germany — despite being the top economy in the EU — only spent 1.38 per cent of its GDP on defence in 2019. The country has said that it “hopes” to reach the spending target by 2031.
In an exclusive interview with Breitbart London, then-American Ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said that Germany has been “woeful” in living up to its commitments to NATO.
“Germany is the largest economy in Europe. They made a commitment to NATO, and they should be serious about that commitment; it is a multilateral institution that guarantees the allies, guaranteeing freedom,” Grenell said in 2018.
Poland, on the other hand, is one of the few NATO countries in Europe to meet its spending obligations.
In 2018, the ambassadors from the United States and Poland wrote a joint statement, celebrating the deep ties between the two nations and hailing the “shared democratic ideals are the heart of our 100-year-old friendship… [T]he bond between the United States and Poland is stronger than ever, and we are ready to face the next 100 years together.”
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— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 13, 2020
AP contributed to this story
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