Warsaw has proposed an initiative to deploy a permanent US military base in Poland, for which the Polish government is prepared to invest $1.5-$2 billion, the Polish news portal Onet reported, citing a document from the Polish Defense Ministry.
The Polish military department confirmed the authenticity of the document. The department’s press service also added that the document, which is titled “Proposal for a permanent US presence in Poland”, was drafted “in the context of activities directed towards deepening the defensive collaboration with the US, including an increase in the presence of US troops in Poland” in 2018. It was sent to the US Congress, a number of government organizations and analytic centers, including representatives of the Atlantic Council. A representative of the Atlantic council confirmed receipt of the document.
The document states that a permanent presence of US troop divisions in Poland is “necessary to deter the increased and dangerous position of Russia, which threatens Europe”. Warsaw emphasizes that the establishment of the permanent US base in Poland is not just in the interests of Poland, which wants to ensure its own security in light of the “Russian threat”, but also corresponds to the US’s national defense doctrine, which “identifies Russia’s aggression as the primary threat to the United States and global stability”.
In their advocacy of the new base, the document’s authors point out the country’s comprehensive compliance with NATO standards. Amongst other things, the document notes that Poland is one of only a few countries that allocates 2% of its GDP to defense, in accordance with NATO norms. “With the help of a constant presence, the US and Poland can create a stronger, firmer alliance,” the proposal emphasizes.
In this regard, Poland offers to invest $1.5-2 billion in the project to deploy a US armored vehicle division in the country. This amount should cover a significant portion of the funds for creating the relevant infrastructure and maintaining the units’ combat readiness. Furthermore, the US soldiers will be given access to some of the infrastructure which the Polish defense ministry already possesses.
Attached to the document is a map of Poland indicating the possible sites for the base, as well as transport hubs and existing military facilities.
In an interview with Onet, European Parliament member and former Polish Defense Minister Janusz Zemke criticised the fact that the document was published with open access. “That is very unprofessional,” he emphasized.