Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Fort Trump? Polish leader dangles offer to US president

Fort Trump? Polish leader dangles offer to US president

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet Polish President Andrzej Duda (R) and wife Agata Kornhauser-Duda (L) on the south portico of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Poland has long sought to have the USA bolster its presence in Eastern Europe as a counter to Russian Federation, and Polish President Andrzej Duda said at the White House that the base could be called "Fort Trump" if that would speed the process.

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.

"Poland would be paying billions of dollars for a base", he said.

Asked if he agreed, Trump said, "I am with the president". "We're looking at it from the standpoint of number one, military protection, for both countries, and also cost".

"The U.S. government, the Defense Department and Congress in particular, are very far away from concluding that such a move is in the best interest of the United States or fiscally responsible considering existing U.S. military installations in Europe", said Heather Conley, who served as a deputy assistant secretary of state for George W. Bush and is now a senior vice president at the Center for Strategic & International Studies.

US President Donald Trump is eyeing a permanent military presence in Poland, saying the country "likes the idea very much".

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President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States is considering a request from Poland for a permanent USA military presence in the fellow North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country.

"This agreement indicates the most important aspects of our cooperation and our friendship, it also sets new paths for the future", Duda said. "Poland is willing to make a very major contribution to the United States to come in and have a presence in Poland".

As Duda gave his opening remarks and expressed interest in defense projects in conjunction with the US, he proposed the construction of a permanent military base that would be named after Trump. A decision from the USA could come early next year.

"I am convinced there is no more effective method of preventing a war than a decisive stance illustrating that we are ready at any moment to repel possible attack", Duda said. "They respect force. They respect strength, as anyone does, and we have the greatest strength in the world, especially now".

"I was smiling when talking to Mr. President. I think Russian Federation has acted aggressively", he said.

Poland, which is a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation since 1999, has been taking a very active part in the recent military activities of the alliance, described as an attempt to counter "hostile" Russian moves.

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