82°F
weather icon Clear

President Trump announces 1K more US troops to Poland

Updated June 13, 2019 - 7:25 am

WASHINGTON — It’s not quite “Fort Trump,” as Polish President Andrzej Duda suggested somewhat in jest last September when he proposed permanent U.S. military bases in his country, but President Donald Trump did announce the United States would send another 1,000 troops to Poland.

Duda’s second visit to the Trump White House was another lovefest, which included a joint news conference in the Rose Garden that provided an opportunity for Trump to praise a media-bashing foreign leader and bash a less favored ally, Germany.

Trump recalled his July 2017 visit to Warsaw’s Krashinski Square where he delivered an impassioned speech, which he claimed others said “was the best speech ever made by president in Europe.”

Then he praised Warsaw for paying its fair share for defense and buying American energy rather than relying on Russian imports.

Poland is one of a minority of NATO members that meet the organization’s goal of spending at least 2 percent of their GDP on defense. (To Trump’s chagrin, Germany spends some 1.3 percent of its GDP on defense.)

Warsaw just signed another deal to get American liquefied natural gas — a stark contrast to Germany, which Trump contends is too energy-reliant on Russia. Poland also placed an order for more than 30 F-35 fighter jets, a move celebrated with an ear-shattering flyover above the White House.

During the Rose Garden event, Duda even offered a few words in English — “Make America Great Again.” It was an embrace of Trump’s America-first stance that is hard to imagine coming from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

During a reception, Duda told Trump, “The first term of your presidency will be the introduction to your second term.”

During a talk with reporters in the Oval Office as he greeted Duda, Trump said the additional troops might be moved from a U.S. base in Germany or another European location.

Trump also teased that the deal would entail “a military facility. A great one, in a very good location in Poland.” But it appears that Poland will not get the permanent facility Duda proposed last year.

The back-and-forth between the two presidents and the press revealed two starkly different takes on Russia.

When a reporter asked Trump if Russia poses a threat to Poland and Europe, he answered, “I think that Russia will treat Poland with respect,” before adding he wants “everybody to get along.”

But when a reporter asked Duda in the Rose Garden if Russia is an ally to Poland, Duda answered that while he would “very much like” Russia to be a friend to Poland, the giant neighbor’s greater size and history of aggression argued otherwise. Duda then recalled the Soviet invasion of Poland during World War II, the Warsaw uprising and Russian post-war occupation, before he moved to Russia’s attacks on Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.

“We would like Russia to be our friend, but unfortunately, Russia again is showing its very unkind, unpleasant, imperial face, and we do not want to be part of Russia’s sphere of influence,” said the Polish president.

Trump followed up with his hope that “Poland is going to have a great relationship with Russia.”

Bradley Bowman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a research institute that focuses on foreign policy and national security, told the Review Journal he is among those who believe the United States needs a division headquarters permanently stationed in Europe, preferably in Poland, to respond to a possible “fait accompli” attack by Russia in Europe.

If the U.S. were to station permanent combat and combat supports in Poland, Bowman argued, “we’ll end up spending a lot less (than we do) now.”

Bowman, who serves as senior director of the Foundation’s Center on Military and Political Power, said he sees good and bad in the Trump administration’s policies. On the plus side are Trump’s successful efforts to pump up NATO partners’ defense spending, but Trump’s Putin-friendly rhetoric disappoints.

Trump also used the visit to voice common cause with Polish-American voters. “They liked me and I like them, and a lot of them voted for Trump,” he said in the Oval Office.

Duda plans to leave Washington for Houston and then Reno, where he will arrive on Friday evening. The one-day visit is the result of an invitation given by former Gov. Brian Sandoval, who met Duda in Warsaw in 2017, according to John Petkus of Poland’s consulate in Las Vegas.

“This will also be the first time a sitting Polish president will step foot in Nevada, so we’re very proud of this recognition by the Polish authorities,” Petkus added.

Contact Debra J. Saunders at dsaunders@reviewjournal.com or 202-662-7391. Follow @DebraJSaunders on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
THE LATEST
Pence urges Congress to approve trade deal

Vice President Mike Pence used a speech to the conservative Heritage Foundation on Tuesday to argue for Congress to approve the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade.

UK Supreme Court hears Brexit challenge case arguments

Government lawyer Richard Keen said judges in a lower court had “nakedly entered the political arena” by ruling on the matter.