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6 Jun, 2020 10:48

Poland hopes to host US troops if they are withdrawn from Germany – PM Morawiecki

Poland hopes to host US troops if they are withdrawn from Germany – PM Morawiecki

Warsaw has set its hopes on hosting some of the US troops reportedly preparing to leave Germany on Donald Trump's orders, Poland's prime minister has signaled, amid reports the redeployment plans are already on the table.  

Reuters and the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that the Trump administration is moving to reduce the size of its army contingent in Germany, with up to 9,500 troops ordered to pack and prepare to leave. The 34,500-strong force will thus lose over a quarter of its manpower if the redeployment goes ahead.

Although the reports are yet to be officially confirmed, Poland has already staked a claim for its share of the US troop pie. 

"I deeply hope that as a result of the many talks that we had … part of the troops based today in Germany which are being removed by the United States … will indeed come to Poland," Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told radio station RMF 24 on Saturday.

The decision is now in the United States' hands, but Warsaw hopes that “that the [US] contingent in Poland will continue to grow,” the premier stated. Expanding US troop presence is all about reinforcing “the eastern flank of NATO,” Morawiecki said, stopping short of invoking the well-worn ‘Russian threat’.

I think Germany understands that geopolitics is changing, that we need to strengthen the eastern part of NATO.

Meanwhile, Berlin was caught somewhat off-guard by the news, local outlet Der Spiegel suggested. Washington, their report says, did not previously inform its NATO ally Germany of its plans. Notably, both the German Defense Ministry and the Foreign Office refused to comment on the matter, as did the Pentagon itself. 

The spat between the allies intensified last month when Chancellor Angela Merkel rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G7 summit in person, citing the “overall pandemic situation.”

The refusal to come to Washington was the latest example of the uneasy relationship between the two leaders, who have previously locked horns over a range of issues, including trade, defense, and foreign policy.

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