Warsaw and Washington announced the beginning of action in Poland by the command of the 5th corps of the US Army. This was stated by the American Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher at a ceremony on Tuesday in Krakow.
“This is a special day because we are announcing the activation of the Forward Command of the 5th US Army Corps in Poland,” she said.
In turn, the Minister of National Defense of Poland Mariusz Blaszczak said that this decision will crown "efforts to increase the presence of American troops in Poland."
As noted by Blaszczak, last week the United States and Poland finally agreed on the terms of an agreement on cooperation in the military sphere.
According to the Polish minister, this agreement will determine for decades how the American armed forces will operate in Poland.
- U.S. Ambassador to Poland Georgette Mosbacher and Polish Minister of National Defense Mariusz Blaszczak in Krakow, August 4, 2020
- © Jakub Porzycki / Agencja Gazeta
More American military
The fact that the United States and Poland have agreed on the parameters of the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), under which an additional 1,000 American servicemen will be sent to Poland, was announced yesterday by US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
According to him, EDCA will increase the permanent American rotation presence in Poland by about 1,000 people, in addition to the 4,500 already located there.
The head of the American defense department stressed that the agreement with Poland "will strengthen the containment of Russia, strengthen NATO, and give hope to the allies" of the United States.
However, the agreement itself has not yet been signed. According to the Polish newspaper Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, the signing ceremony may take place on August 15, when Poland celebrates the Day of the Polish Army. In addition, this year this day will mark the 100th anniversary of the victory of Polish troops over the Red Army in the Battle of Warsaw on August 15, 1920.
According to the newspaper, the agreement, in addition to the transfer of 1,000 soldiers, also provides for the creation of a Combat Training Center in the west of the country, the deployment of a squadron of unmanned aerial vehicles in the city of Lask and a US special forces unit in the city of Lublinets.
At the moment, about 4.5 thousand American troops are stationed in Poland on a rotational basis. The US military infrastructure in Poland includes a division-level command center, elements of an army armored brigade on a rotational basis and support units, an army aviation task force, about 750 logistics specialists, an air force structure, and a naval unit that is involved in providing the work of the Aegis Ashore anti-missile system and is an integral part of the NATO missile defense program.
But in Warsaw, this is considered insufficient: the Polish authorities have long cherished the idea of creating a full-fledged US military base in the country. President of the country Andrzej Duda even suggested, either as a joke or seriously, to call it "Fort Trump" and promised to allocate $ 2 billion from the Polish budget for its placement. However, the United States has not yet expressed its readiness to take this step.
A little later, the President of Poland explained that "Fort Trump" did not mean a military base at all: with this name he allegedly wanted to designate a set of steps being taken to expand the American military presence in the republic.
According to him, we are talking about increasing the American presence in Poland on the eastern flank of NATO "both in terms of military units" and in the infrastructure sense "in case it comes to aggression."
- Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump meeting at the White House, June 24, 2020
- © Carlos Barria
The Polish authorities regularly remind of their desire to deploy more American troops in the country. So, in June of this year, Duda, at a joint press conference with US President Donald Trump, reiterated that Poland was ready to accept more American soldiers on its territory. He noted that he also called on Trump not to withdraw troops from Europe, since the American presence for Europe after the end of World War II is "a guarantee of security."
In the same month, on the air of Polish radio, the head of the office of the Prime Minister of the Republic, Michal Dvorczyk, said that the Polish authorities were interested in having as many American soldiers as possible in Europe. He noted that the authorities are making efforts to "the American military presence in Poland was as wide as possible."
The Russian military is analyzing Poland's intention to host an additional 1,000 soldiers on its territory. This was announced back in June 2019 by the press secretary of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov.
“No one should have any doubts that the Russian military is recording all these messages with great attention, analyzing this information and making sure that such steps do not threaten the security of the Russian Federation in any way,” he said.
In the summer of 2020, he also noted that Poland in itself cannot pose a threat to Russia, but its desire to provide its territory for the deployment of foreign military personnel may be dangerous. He recalled that the Russian Federation considers the consistent drift of NATO's military infrastructure towards the Russian borders undesirable and dangerous.
According to the American political scientist Dmitry Drobnitsky, the transfer of troops to Poland is part of the geopolitical confrontation between Brussels and Washington and has no military-strategic meaning.
“There are almost no countries left in Europe with which the current administration of the White House has maintained friendly relations. It is because of the disputes between the United States and Germany that a significant part of the American contingent is redeployed to Belgium or Poland. The transfer of American troops is, rather, the nature of a game between Washington and European capitals, since this action has no strategic significance, "the political scientist said in an interview with RT.
He noted that Poland is viewed by the Republicans as the main ally on the continent.
“Warsaw traditionally remains a loyal ally for the republican administrations. Especially when Washington is quarreling with Old Europe. Poland, in turn, has long dreamed of acquiring a great overseas friend in order to feel like a major player in European territory. She believes that in this way she can strengthen her position. In reality, Warsaw is neither a strategic nor a regional player, ”the analyst said.
- US military in Poland, January 12, 2017
- © Agencja Gazeta / Anna Krasko
In turn, political scientist Boris Mezhuev noted that by sending the military to Poland, Washington is also sending a certain signal to Moscow.
“The main goal of the United States is to show sympathy for Poland, which is at the same time unpleasant for both Europe and Russia. This step should demonstrate to the Russian Federation that it should not take too radical steps. If the situation escalates in the region, then the United States will have an even more intense relationship with Poland. If it does not escalate, then everything will be limited to this contingent. In this case, we are talking about military diplomacy using a military contingent, "the analyst explained in an interview with RT.
According to Mezhuev, the strengthening of the US presence in Poland does not bode well for Russia.
“Poland, which is a NATO member, shares a border with Russia through the Kaliningrad region, so the strengthening of Polish regional hegemonic sentiments will exacerbate the situation. In this case, the escalation of the conflict will mean a serious threat to both the Russian Federation and Europe, ”he said.
In these conditions, Russia should strengthen its partnership with the FRG, since Berlin also does not welcome Poland's attempts to rise in the region through an alliance with the United States.
“Russia can oppose this with“ indestructible friendship ”with Germany, which also expresses its rejection of the hegemonic Polish sentiments. In the future, it is necessary to find the language of new diplomacy in order to demonstrate to Europe that the aspiration of Polish regional hegemony with an eye to Belarus and Lithuania threatens European security, ”Mezhuev said.
In turn, Dmitry Drobnitsky noted that the only factor that can cool the ardor of Warsaw and American politicians is the high combat readiness of the Russian army.
“The presence of NATO and the United States, their strategic installations and support forces near the borders of the Russian Federation, undoubtedly carries strategic risks. In order to diplomatically try to push the forces of the alliance away from the Russian borders, the moment has passed, and the time for a new diplomatic conversation has not yet come. In these conditions, Russia can only counter this with the combat readiness of the army, which today is at the highest level in recent decades. This will make it clear to Western partners that the military games on the Russian border will have the most negative consequences, "concluded Drobnitsky.