Poland calls for more U.S. troops, aircraft as Trump, Duda set to meet

U.S. President Donald Trump, R, met with Polish President Andrzej Duda, L, at the White House on June 12, 2019. Their next meeting, on Wednesday, Duda is expected to push for an increased U.S. troop presence in Poland, as well as the sale of military aircraft. File Photo by Zach Gibson/UPI

June 23 (UPI) — A planned White House visit by Polish President Andrzej Duda this week is expected to bring U.S. troops to Poland, as well as the sale of U.S. aircraft.

Up to 2,000 U.S. troops, largely deployed to Campbell Barracks, Germany, will transfer to Poland, the Polish Daily News reported on Monday.

A plan to move about 30 U.S. F-16 fighter planes from Germany to Poland is under discussion, as well as the grant of five used C-130 transport planes by the United States to Poland.

Plans to increase U.S. troop strength in Poland were discussed in 2019, when Duda and Trump last met. On June 12, U.S. officials confirmed an earlier Trump announcement that some U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Germany.

“The president [Duda] is very much looking to discussions on that topic,” said Krzysztof Szczerski, Duda’s top cabinet official, in an interview regarding Wednesday’s meeting. He added that a troop increase in Poland would demonstrate “the reality of our alliance.”

Duda, who is up for re-election in a June 28 vote, is scheduled to visit President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Trump remains popular in Poland, and the visit is reminiscent of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s White House visit in 2019, two weeks before an election in Israel.

Trump has called Poland, a NATO member, “an exemplary ally,” and the new U.S.-Polish military alliance has been referred to as “Fort Trump” in Poland.

“We love Donald Trump, we think he’s a great president, and I do believe he’s going to help us win the election,” said Dominik Tarczynski, a Law and Justice Party parliamentarian. “He’s going to help Andrzej Duda win.”

Poland has also been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and an Economic Union censure for a plan to reduce the impartiality of appointed judges.


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