Donald Trump’s administration regularly increases military presence in Central Europe. The currently discussed idea is to create an American permanent military base in Poland, that is to say, a further shift of the US military presence towards the Russian border.
The question arises whether, through the constant presence of the US Army in Poland, Donald Trump wants to improve the defense of the Old Continent or strives to play against each other the interests of individual members of the European Union. The weaker Europe is, the stronger is the United States.
Although the idea of American permanent military presence in Central Europe is not new, it gained much publicity after the September meeting at the White House between Polish President Andrzej Duda and Donald Trump. Warsaw suggested not only building a base but also a name for it: Fort Trump. After initial doubts, Washington, noting the benefits which it might derive, accepted this proposal.1)That’s why a few days later, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis reported that certain areas are already being evaluated whether they are suitable for this purpose.2)
Leaving aside the issue of allegedly improving the security of NATO’s eastern flank, there is more to see than meets the eye in the permanent presence of Americans in Poland. Warsaw perceives the United States as an ally in an ongoing dispute with the EU. Relations between Brussels and Washington have also deteriorated. Therefore, by relocating its troops to the east, the United States would be putting pressure on Germany to increase defense spending, import US LNG or veto Nord Stream II.
Equipment, not a base
The mere construction of an American fort means not only the creation of military facilities, but also founding a small town in which there would be kindergartens, schools, clinics, hospitals, cinemas and shops. President Duda said that the cost of launching Fort Trump, which is estimated at USD 2 billion, would be covered by Poland. By way of comparison: the stay of American soldiers in Europe is a burden of 2.5 billion dollars annually.3)That’s a lot. From Poland’s point of view, it would be more reasonable to put this money in military equipment and training. Or one could buy 230 tanks M1A2 or 20 aircraft F-35 or 33 F-16, or build 3 submarines. …