Poland’s push to house a major permanent US military base dubbed last year by Polish President Andrzej Duda as “Fort Trump” is a big step closer to becoming a reality this week after top US defense officials met with Polish counterparts in Warsaw to negotiate an offer. US Defense Undersecretary for Policy John Rood led a delegation to the former Soviet satellite country and longtime east European defense ally on Wednesday to discuss the US “robust offer” to establish a permanent facility on Polish soil.
The Poles previously vowed to pay $2 billion for a base that could host a division-sized installment of US forces, which the US has called “very generous” — though likely to fall short of the total cost for such a base. “We have come forward with what we think is a very serious robust offer and we’re working out some of the technicalities this very week, when we hope to have a solid foundation to work from having coming out of this meeting,” a spokesperson for Rood’s office informed the House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday.
Image source: AFP
Though the idea of a permanent US base in Poland has been floated for years, especially after the Russian-Ukraine conflict grew hot, last September’s official visit between Presidents Duda and Trump at the White House gave it real momentum.
Duda had dropped the surprising proposal during a press briefing, suggesting it could be called “Fort Trump” — to which Trump grinned and appeared to nod in approval.
“I invite you to post more American military troops in Poland,” Duda said, describing US presence in Poland as a “guarantor of security.”
And Trump responded at the time as follows:
“We’re looking at it very seriously, I know Poland likes the idea very much, and it’s something that we are considering, yes,” Trump told reporters during the Sept. 19 press conference, according to CNN.
Duda’s remarks, clearly designed at the time to play on the US president’s ego, came amidst joint statements wherein both leaders agreed that Moscow has “acted aggressively” in the region. Trump said that he shared concerns about Russian encroachment into former Soviet satellite countries.