US to Send 1,000 More Troops to Poland

Soldiers aboard Army M1A2 Abrams tanks move out during an initial ready task force exercise at Johanna Range near Zagan, Poland, May 20, 2019.

Army Sgt. Thomas Mort

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Soldiers aboard Army M1A2 Abrams tanks move out during an initial ready task force exercise at Johanna Range near Zagan, Poland, May 20, 2019.

Last fall, Warsaw asked for a tank division. Looks like they're getting rotating logistics troops instead.

The United States will add 1,000 troops to the 4,000 already deployed in Poland, a defense official said Tuesday.

Speaking not for attribution a day ahead of an anticipated formal announcement, the official said the added troops would have logistical, not combat, duties.

The announcement is expected when Polish President Andrzej Duda meets with U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday in Washington.

“There will be a troop increase, but what is more important, new capabilities/cohesion to US deployments. Most importantly, though, we are likely to progress from temporary/provisional arrangements regarding the presence,” a Polish official told Defense One on Monday.

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The announcement was telegraphed last week by Poland’s minister of foreign affairs.

We expect some decisions to be announced concerning the increase of American presence in Poland. We can look at it from a quantitative perspective, more soldiers, but also a qualitative perspective, more equipment … more training,” Jacek Czaputowicz said at the GLOBSEC defense forum in Bratislava, Slovakia.

The AP first reported the upcoming announcement.

The U.S. defense official said the addition of the non-combat troops would not violate the 1997 Founding Act on Mutual Relations, Cooperation and Security between NATO and Russia, which prohibits the permanent basing of NATO troops in former Warsaw Pact countries.

Asked whether additional troops would violate the Founding Act, a senior White House official on a background call with reporters on Tuesday said, “Tomorrow’s announcement will be completely consistent with the commitments we’ve made at NATO.”

The Polish government has been pushing for a troop increase since last September, when Duda and Trump met in Washington, D.C. A formal proposal presented from Polish to U.S. officials sought a permanently deployed armored division.

“I would like to invite you, Mr. President, to post more American troops to Poland. We believe that the presence of the United States is a guarantor of security in our part of Europe,” Duda said then at a joint event with Trump.

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