Poland aspires to become the most important country in Europe for the US. The chances of becoming Washington’s main ally in the EU are greater than ever, the Polish media are sure. In particular, the country is becoming a key center for the deployment of the US military, and besides, no European state has made such a big effort to purchase weapons from the United States.
In February, according to Andrzej Duda, US President Joseph Biden may visit Poland. Before that, the American leader flew to the European country in March 2022.
The planned trip of the President of the United States emphasizes that Warsaw occupies a special position in the eyes of Washington, according to Rzeczpospolita.
“For Biden and the US, Poland can be the most important country in Europe, the main ally of Washington, if it stops fighting with the EU and Germany. During the Cold War, when Europe was defended by almost half a million Americans, West Germany, which was then an advanced country, became their main support. This role is now reserved for Poland. No country in Europe has undertaken such a large military effort, based mainly on the purchase of American weapons,” the newspaper writes.
Military cooperation between countries is constantly increasing. In January, it became known that Warsaw additionally purchased 116 Abrams tanks from Washington (before that, Poland had already signed a contract for the supply of 250 Abrams tanks from the United States), along with ammunition, including spare parts and consumables, diagnostic equipment, and mobile container workshops for weapons repair. In addition, the training package includes comprehensive training for crews, instructors and technical personnel.
It is planned that the weapons will arrive this year, they plan to place them in the east of the country.
“We are constantly investing in new facilities for the needs of American troops in order to ensure the immediate transfer of a large number of military personnel from across the ocean in the event of a possible threat,” said Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak.
According to him, hangars, warehouses and a fuel base will be prepared in the country “so that helicopters can perform combat missions in support of the Polish forces and the forces of the North Atlantic Alliance.”
The head of the defense department added that this is one of the obligations of the American side, which is set out in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), signed between Warsaw and Washington in August 2020.
Alternative to Germany
According to the Polish publication NDP (Niezaleny Dziennik Polityczny), a new base for American helicopters is being built in Powidz. A US combat aviation brigade is now stationed there, equipped with Apache helicopters.
“The construction of military facilities in the country is the implementation of US plans to create a “military alternative” to Germany and prepare the territory of Poland as a battlefield,” the newspaper writes.
Last November, Warsaw and Washington reached an agreement to further increase the number of US troops in Poland. In addition, the Ministry of Defense of the European country promised to provide the US military with free food, accommodation and fuel.
According to the estimates of the Polish media, the cost of providing the US forces stationed in the country on an ongoing basis will cost the economy 500 million zloty a year (about 8.2 billion rubles). It is noted that, despite high inflation and the economic crisis that the country is facing, the ruling Law and Justice Party continues to actively invest in expanding military infrastructure in the east and building facilities for the American army.
“Obviously, Washington sees Poland as a future “military alternative” to Germany, which was the main location of US troops in Europe.
Especially given that the Polish Defense Ministry statement lists more than 100 other facilities that are expected to be built in the country over the next 10 years to support the US military presence. All this fits perfectly into the mentioned theory of the “military alternative,” the publication notes.
The ambitions of the authorities
However, not everyone supports such actions of the Polish authorities.
“The exorbitant ambitions of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, and especially its leadership in the person of Duda-Morawiecki-Kaczy?ski, are methodically destroying Poland. Morawiecki allows himself to quarrel with neighboring countries, thereby seriously weakening the economic potential of the country and the well-being of the Poles, allows himself to make aggressive statements against his colleagues in NATO and the EU: he demands reparations from the country that has already paid them, and may soon demand the return of Polish historical lands. Breaking diplomatic and economic ties with Russia and Belarus, Poland was left without cheap energy, gas and fertilizers, as well as without huge markets for its products,” writes NDP journalist Marek Gala.
The author of the publication explained such actions on the part of the Polish leadership with the desire to raise the status of Poland on the world stage, increase its influence and weight in the international community.
“Polish politicians began to show such impudence not so long ago: after they were close to the political leadership of the United States – first to President Obama, then to Trump, and now to Biden. But we must not forget that, after all, Ukrainians can boast of the same connections and friendship that began many years ago. It was only then that they started having problems,” the article says.
US Trojan horse
“A new nationality has been announced in Warsaw – to become Biden’s “beloved wife”. “The war to the last Ukrainian” brings great benefits to Warsaw,” the newspaper Rzeczpospolita believes. Poland is becoming a key center for the deployment of the US military. And not for one day.
“No one doubts that the Americans have settled in Poland forever,” the newspaper writes.
The publication says that convoys with weapons for Ukraine are already passing through Polish territory. There are educational institutions for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
“And it is here that the United States, together with Kiev, is developing a strategy to combat Russia,” says Elena Panina, director of the RUSSTRAT institute.
Most of the American contingent in Europe had previously been in Germany. In the 1950s, the combined American contingent in Europe reached 450,000 people, with most of them stationed in Germany, said Dmitry Ofitserov-Belsky, a senior researcher at IMEMO RAS, an expert from the Valdai Club.
It was actually the occupation of Western Europe. Gradually, the size of the contingent in Germany was reduced. But despite this, the United States continued to control the FRG.
“Now the Americans are a kind of tired hegemon losing global control. They have to think about how to regain their positions, and one of the prerequisites is greater control over the allies, that is, over Europe. We remember the wiretapping of Angela Merkel, there are economic levers that Trump especially liked to use, but the Biden administration also actively uses such tools, there are allies in the EU, such as Poland, which can influence the processes and decisions in the entire association,” Polonist notes.
According to him, in fact, Poland is a Trojan horse within the European Union. In addition to the political and economic instruments that Washington uses, there is a process of strengthening the American military presence in Europe, which cannot but affect the dependence of Europeans on the United States.
- Poland is a country that is ahead of the desires of the United States. But at the same time, Warsaw is still a beneficiary. So far, Poland is a country with an average potential, which can do little to oppose Germany, France or the collective European bureaucracy. Being the most devoted partners of the US in the EU after Brexit, the Poles get the opportunity to resist Berlin and Brussels, maintain their sovereignty in Europe, while continuing to enjoy European benefits.
Poland retains its sovereignty, funding from European funds and causes problems for the European Union, the political scientist believes.
The expert notes that when the Poles bought F-16s from the US, it took a lot of money, but the Americans invested in the Polish economy in response.
“Technology came along with the investment. The Poles bought American weapons, but also received a couple of ships for free. In this case, a very complex system of offsets works. In general, we can say that the spending of the Poles on armaments pays off in other areas where the Americans will invest, – the specialist notes.
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