It seems that every time America starts trying to draw down their European presence, something comes to pull us back in. According to new information floating around European news websites, Poland is willing to shell out as much as $2 Billion in a deal to get a permanent US Military base in the country. It’s a deal that makes sense in a world where Putin’s shown little regard to the sovereignty of its neighbors, evidenced both in Ukraine and Georgia over the last decade.
The proposed military support would supposedly come in the form of a standard U.S. Armor Division or equivalent force in the country. For the non-Army or Marine readers out there, that could constitute a force of as many as 15,000 soldiers, give or take a couple thousand depending on specific unit requirements. This would bump Poland to be on par with Italy by the number of troops stationed in the country. The $2 Billion would go toward constructing the facilities required to house a large contingent of soldiers, while Poland has also stated that the US would bypass any tax requirements in Poland for any military-related construction or events (as is usually the case).
The real question is why, in an era where US bases are closing in countries across the world, does Poland specifically want a US presence in their own country? The answer lies in the small border Poland shares with Lithuania called the Suwalki Gap which is strategically very important to the defense of Poland from Russian aggression. The ~ 50-mile border is squeezed between the Russian Territory of Kaliningrad and Belarus, Russia’s closest ally in Europe. The generalized consensus from Baltic-area subject matter experts is that a full scale Russian military movement in Europe would most likely start in the Baltics, attempting to link Kaliningrad back to the mainland of Russia by annexing all or parts of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. The next country in that line is none other Poland itself. While the chance of a full-scale invasion is almost laughably low, it is only low while Russia still views the NATO alliance as a threat.
Personally, I feel it’s a fantastic idea if both countries can get the numbers and financial details right. Poland has always been one of NATO’s more consistent contributors, hovering right around and just above the 2% required military expenditure by GDP requirement. And unlike the more Western allies, countries like Poland and others in the Baltic may feel a very real threat from Russia that is impossible to understand in countries so far removed from the conflicts.
So should you start brushing up on your Polish and calling branch for potential positions? Not yet. No matter the fate of the deal, it’s still in its conception phase now and probably will be for the near future. There is already a significant NATO presence in both Warsaw and Bydgoszcz, and along with the bases in Torun comprise the most likely locations for a new US home abroad. It will be a lot to manage, but maybe one day in the future Bydgoszcz could be as popular a destination as Stuttgart or Vicenza for US Soldiers.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.