US to send more troops to Poland
The United States plans to expand its troop presence in Poland beyond the 4,000 personnel it has deployed to counter Russia, US ambassador to Warsaw Georgette Mosbacher said.
She said there would be a major boost in the US military presence, in response to requests by the nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) government.
“It will be significant. It passes the 100 mark, the hundreds mark,” she said. “I think [Poles] going to get most of what they want.”
The comments come as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo joined a sparsely attended conference on West Asia.
Disagreement over Iran is partly what meant Germany, France and other Nato allies did not send delegations to the event.
Foreign ministers and mandarins from more than 60 countries gathered in Warsaw.
Pence and Poland’s President Andrzej Duda are also expected to finalise a deal on Wednesday allowing the Nato member to buy mobile rocket launchers priced at €365 million from the US.
PiS has been pushing for Washington to open a permanent military base, where US troops are already deployed on a rotating basis as part of Nato operations along the alliance’s eastern flank.
Mosbacher and US defence chiefs have downplayed any idea of any permanent base, which contravenes a 1990s deal between then leaders Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton.
“But in terms of a presence that is undeniable and a large number of American troops, that’s a given,” she said.
“The Department of Defence sees [forces] as . . . more agile, more rotating, rather than where you have physical hospitals and homes and you bring your families,” Mosbacher told the media.
Pence told the conference in Warsaw to demand that European countries withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers that Donald Trump has breached.
He urged US allies to back sanctions on Iran after Europe sought ways to keep open trade and financial ties with Iran.
“The authoritarian regime in Tehran represses the freedom of speech and assembly, persecutes religious minorities, brutalises women, executes gays and openly advocates the destruction of the State of Israel,” the vice president told the conference.
“Iran endlessly spews hatred against Israel, our most cherished ally.”
Hawkish Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the media that “confronting Iran” was a necessary step for any nation that wants to “achieve peace and stability” in West Asia, while many observers would argue the US is behind many of the region’s troubles.
“The three Hs — the Houthis, Hamas and Hezbollah — these are real threats … you can’t get peace in the Middle East without pushing back against Iran,” Pompeo said, referring to Tehran’s allies in Yemen, Gaza and Lebanon.
US forces in Poland are increasing. Picture credit: Wikimedia