Poland Wants 'Fort Trump.' The President Said He May Send Some Troops

Clay Curtis
June 13, 2019

On a separate issue at the heart of European-Russia tensions, Trump criticized Germany for what he said was over-reliance on Moscow for energy supplies.

Polish officials said this week that the announcement is related to increasing levels of permanent troops stationed in Poland.

"You people would have a field day about that", Trump said from the White House during an appearance with Polish President Andrzej Duda, who first broached the idea of creating a Fort Trump in Poland during a previous sitdown. While the press conference focused on areas of agreement, Trump said he differed with Poland's efforts to force the country's Supreme Court justices to retire early.

The president said he was considering sending up to 2,000 troops in total, though that higher number had not yet been agreed to.

Details of the troop boost were thin but they fell far short of Poland's long-running hope for a permanent major USA military base.

The military base Poland has pledged to build for the US could still be named "Fort Trump," but that is up to the Poles to decide, President Donald Trump said Wednesday. Still, the U.S. has been loath to escalate tensions with Russian Federation by making a move that Moscow would no doubt see as a direct threat.

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The decision to expand America's military presence in Poland comes after months of lobbying by Polish leaders who had hoped for a USA base in their country. In 2018, however, Poland signed a $4.75 billion contract to purchase the US Patriot anti-missile systems - a deal seen as a major boost for attempts to modernize Polish forces.

The other issue that dominated talks between the two leaders was that of energy supply.

President Duda expressed gratitude that the US will send more troops to Poland.

An extension of Poland's commitment to buy LNG from the United States was among several documents signed by both men at Wednesday's meeting.

"It really makes Germany a hostage to Russia", he said, suggesting that he was considering sanctions aimed at blocking the huge new Russian-led natural gas pipeline dubbed Nord Stream 2.

Trump spoke of the "unbreakable bonds" between the two countries, which, he said, were bound by "deep common values" and "shared goals". "I hope that we're going to have a great relationship with Russia", Trump said. He also warned that Germany could become a "hostage of Russian Federation if things really happen that are bad".

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