In a comment made in passing following an event at the White House, President Joe Biden hinted on Wednesday that the US troops that are currently stationed in Poland on a temporary basis might end up remaining there for a long time.
The question about US troops was called out by Polish Radio correspondent Marek Walkuski as Biden was leaving the East Room, but apart from the short comment that they’ll be there for a long time, Biden did not elaborate.
Although that would technically violate a NATO treaty with Russia, Warsaw has already asked Washington to permanently garrison American troops in Poland.
Though Warsaw has long lobbied for one, even proposing to call it “Fort Trump” in an effort to woo the previous US president, the US does not have a permanent military base in Poland.
Back in May, the US ambassador in Warsaw revealed that the number of American military personnel in Poland, NATO’s main logistical hub for supporting the government in neighboring Ukraine, is the largest in history – over 12,600 – but it is unknown how many US troops are in Poland at the time.
As a response to the partial mobilization of reservists in Russia in September, Warsaw called for additional NATO forces to be deployed in the country and the Baltic, and last month Jakub Kumoch, Polish President Andrzej Duda’s foreign policy adviser, said that the US should permanently station troops and even nuclear weapons on Polish territory.
Kumoch acknowledged that this would directly violate the NATO-Russia Founding Act, but stressing that Moscow made it void by its “invasion” of Ukraine, he called the 1997 treaty development a dead letter.
There are currently around 100,000 American troops in Europe.
According to a confidential proposal that was leaked to media back in May, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have asked NATO to have a 20,000-strong contingent ready to deploy in case of a Russian attack and permanently station around 6,000 troops on the territory of each country.
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