Nation
    Next Score View the next score

    Trump says he’s sending 1,000 more US troops to ally Poland

    WASHINGTON — President Trump said Wednesday that he will send 1,000 more US service members to Poland as part of his broadening security and economic alliance.

    Trump made the announcement during a White House news conference with Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda. Trump said the Polish government will pay for the infrastructure to support the additional troops, and he praised Poland for increased defense spending to meeting its NATO commitments.

    Earlier in the Oval Office, Trump said that the United States has based tens of thousands of troops in Germany for a ‘‘long, long time,’’ and that he probably would move a ‘‘certain number’’ of those personnel to Poland, ‘‘if we agree to do it.’’

    Advertisement

    Trump also said Poland is buying more than 30 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets from the United States. In recognition of that purchase, a single F-35 flew over the White House on a sunny afternoon. Duda looked up and waved as the jet passed.

    Get Ground Game in your inbox:
    Daily updates and analysis on national politics from James Pindell.
    Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

    ‘‘They’re going to put on a very small show for us, and we’re doing that because Poland has ordered 32 or 35 brand new F-35s at the highest level,’’ Trump said.

    US officials said earlier this week that Trump, in addition to the additional troops, would send a squadron of Reaper drones to Poland to aid its self-defense amid concerns about Russian military activity.

    Polish leaders have lobbied for additional forces for months and had hoped for a permanent US base they said could be called ‘‘Fort Trump.’’

    Following the Russian annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, the United States has again been increasing military activity in Europe in concert with NATO allies. That includes stationing four multinational battalion-size battlegroups in Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, led by the United States, Britain, Canada, and Germany.

    Advertisement

    The Eastern European nations have reached out to the United States and NATO for greater protection, worrying that they might be the next target of Russia’s military advance.

    The increase in US forces in the region also reflects America’s new national defense strategy that declares great-power competition with China and Russia as a top priority.