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Poland offers $2bn to host U.S. military base

19 September 2018
Poland offers $2bn to host U.S. military base

Duda credited Trump for making Warsaw the first stop on the USA president's inaugural European trip past year and said Trump's outdoor address in Poland was a "very important moment" for the relationship between the two countries.

"I would very much like for us to set up a permanent base in Poland, which we would call Fort Trump", Polish President Andrzej Duda said Tuesday in a joint news conference at the White House.

"The President offered us much more than $2 billion", Trump said.

Duda noted the purchases of American weapons by Poland and said he wants to buy more.

Poland and other Eastern European countries have been lobbying the United States to increase the number of troops on the continent as they worry about combating an increasingly aggressive Russian Federation. USA soldiers are now present on its soil through NATO's back-to-back rotation.

Though the Polish president's naming proposal appeared to be in jest, Trump said Poland was willing to make a "very major" contribution if the United States were to establish a permanent military presence in the nation.

"He would pay the United States, meaning Poland would be paying billions of dollars for a base", Trump said.

Trump then hailed Poland's offer to pay $2 billion toward US costs, even as he blasted other unnamed "immensely wealthy" countries the USA effectively pays to defend. It's one thing when we defend countries that can't defend themselves.We don't expect anything for that.

Trump said during a joint news conference with Duda that he was considering the idea and noted that Poland had offered more than $2 billion to the United States to pay for such an effort.

The US now supplies most of the troops, about 900, for a rotating North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battalion in Poland as part of the alliance response to Russian intervention in Ukraine and Moscow's muscle-flexing along its western borders involving large-scale military exercises. "Rather than going through the traditional North Atlantic Treaty Organisation format, the Polish government hopes to entice Trump by striking a transactional, bilateral deal with the U.S. and appealing to Trump's self-aggrandizement".

At a joint news conference with Duda, Trump said he is open to the idea if Poland comes up with the money to offset the cost.

A third of active-duty US military troops overseas - more than 60,000 - are stationed in Europe, including 35,000 in Germany, 12,000 in Italy, 8,500 in the United Kingdom and 3,300 in Spain, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of information from the Defense Manpower Data Center, a statistical arm of the Defense Department.

Germany has always been the primary base for American forces in Europe, with approximately 35,000 US service members stationed in the country. They are strategically located to help in other regions of the world, such as counter Iran or strike the Islamic State. Poland held the "national" Dragon 17 exercise in response, which involved troops from the U.S., the UK, Germany, Italy, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and other countries. "I am convinced that there is no more an effective method of preventing a war than a decisive stance demonstrating that we are ready at any moment to repel possible attack".

"I'm hugely delighted with the presence of US armed forces in the Polish territory", Duda said, inviting Trump to send more American troops to the nation.