U.S., Poland complete enhanced defense agreement

U.S., Poland complete enhanced defense agreement

Aug. 3 (UPI) — The United States and Poland completed negotiations of an enhanced defense cooperation agreement, or EDCA, the U.S. Embassy in Warsaw announced on Monday.

The EDCA “provides the required legal framework, infrastructure and equitable burden-sharing essential to deepening our defense cooperation,” the embassy statement said in part.

The negotiations followed a White House meeting in June between Polish President Andrzej Duda and U.S. President Donald Trump.

As discussed by the presidents, the deal includes the sale of military equipment to Poland, and an increased U.S. troop presence, which the agreement established at 1,000 troops.

In addition to the 4,500 U.S. personnel already in rotation in Poland, the embassy said the deal includes another 1,000 personnel — including “forward elements” of the U.S. Army’s V Corps headquarters and a Division headquarters.

The deal also includes intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as the infrastructure to support an armored brigade combat team and combat aviation brigade.

“A deeper, more collaborative U.S.-Poland security partnership is critical in meeting current security threats and challenges,” U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jessica Meyeraan, deputy director of partnering, security cooperation and missile defense for U.S. European Command, said in a press release.

In July, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a reduction of about 12,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in Germany, adding that some will be rotated to other NATO countries, including Poland.

It added that the agreement will improve deterrence against Russia, strengthen NATO, reassure U.S. allies and improve strategic and operational flexibility, all points made by Esper in July.

Monday’s statement noted the importance of the agreement to Poland’s national security, citing Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak’s comment that “we’ll soon sign [the] final agreement on the endured presence of U.S. troops in Poland.”

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