More U.S. Troops Deployed to Poland To ‘Enhance Deterrence’ against Russia
Aug. 4, 2020 (EIRNS)—Yesterday the Defense Department completed negotiations with Poland for the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that will bring 1,000 American troops to that country, in addition to the 4,500 already there on a rotational basis. In a statement, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the EDCA “reflects the shared vision outlined in the Joint Declarations signed by Presidents Donald J. Trump and Andrzej Duda in 2019.” The EDCA “will enhance deterrence against Russia, strengthen NATO, reassure our Allies, and our forward presence in Poland on NATO’s eastern flank will improve our strategic and operational flexibility.”
While the additional 1,000 troops, including elements of the U.S. Army V Corps headquarters, a division headquarters and an Air Force drone squadron, will be rotational, they will require permanent infrastructure. Warsaw “has agreed to fund infrastructure and logistical support to U.S. forces in Poland, including the current 4,500 rotational forces and the planned increase of 1,000 additional rotational forces,” Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell, a Pentagon spokesperson told Breaking Defense. However, EDCA is not expected to be signed for several weeks; nor have any infrastructure improvements been started.
The Polish government is no doubt pleased with the U.S. troop deployment, but not everyone is as happy. PAP news agency reported yesterday that a Polish publication called Onet.pl wrote that the U.S. troops to be stationed in Poland under the agreement will not fall under the jurisdiction of the Polish legal system. According to a Polish site, Onet, the U.S. made the signing of the deal dependent on the special status of its soldiers in Poland, and the government approved both excluding U.S. personnel from Polish jurisdiction as well as the extraterritorial status of U.S. bases. Both Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak and U.S. Ambassador to Warsaw Georgette Mosbacher vehemently denied the report.