Is a US military base in Poland a good idea?
Polish President Andrzej Duda has proposed the establishment of a permanent US military base in Poland to US President Donald Trump. During his visit to Washington Duda said this would deter "aggressive Russian behaviour". He suggested that the base could be called Fort Trump. Commentators examine whether the proposal is realistic and what consequences it would have.
Just a PR stunt
The Süddeutsche Zeitung doesn't believe anything will come of the idea of creating a permanent US military base in Poland:
“The often pro-Moscow US president will hardly go along with this. Even the NATO leaders and critics of Russia like Ben Hodges, until 2017 commander of the US army in Europe are against a permanent US base in Poland because it would 'fan Russian fears'. The surprising thing is that Poland's otherwise so secretive and national-populist government made the proposal openly. Such initiatives are normally discussed in private. So the government's proposal seems to be above all a PR stunt aimed at scoring points with patriotically-minded voters.”
Provocation against Moscow
The setting up of a permanent US military base envisaged by Poland violates the Nato-Russia Founding Act of 1997, according to which Nato must refrain from stationing troops in Central and Eastern Europe, Duma writes, warning of the consequences:
“If the US accepts Poland's demand, Russia will have a reason to see Nato as an aggressor and take corresponding counter-measures regarding its own territorial security. Warsaw, of all countries, would then blame Moscow for the aggression, we can be sure of that. ... The West's goal is clear: to provoke Moscow into actions that ensure Russia's bad image remains intact.”
It's only about the money
Warsaw is acting in accordance with Trump's disastrous idea that defence can only be had in exchange for cash, Gazeta Wyborcza comments:
“Poland's negotiating strategy regarding Trump boils down to the argument: 'Let's pay the United States to protect us', which is probably a sensible negotiating strategy vis-à-vis a US president who thinks in terms of deals. ... So just what sort of relationship is the PiS government proposing? The philosophy that if a country wants to be defended it must pay an ally to do this. Then it'll be better protected. But then it's no longer a matter of defending common values, but of who pays how much cash.”