The nonexistence of a threat from Russia means there is no justification for a permanent US military base in Poland, says an analyst, adding that the planned deployment is only “an offensive” directed against Moscow.
“If there is a decision to put a permanent US military base in Poland, you can basically tear up the NATO-Russia Founding Act by which both sides declared that they are not adversaries. Maybe that’s just a recognition of reality that Russia is NATO’s enemy, a designated enemy,” and therefore the Western military alliance wants all of its deployments directed against Russia, James Jatras, former US Senate foreign policy analyst told Press TV in an interview on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump has said Washington is seriously considering the possibility of building a permanent military base in Poland.
Trump made the statement during a joint press conference with the visiting Polish President Andrzej Duda in Washington DC on Tuesday.
The US president said the fellow NATO country’s fear of Russian aggression was justified.
Under the US leadership, the NATO military alliance has been increasingly beefing up its presence in Eastern Europe and near Russia’s borders.
Wary of the increased military build-up, Russia has accused Poland of opportunism by seeking a permanent NATO presence on its soil.
The US State Department has authorized the sale of $10.5 billion in Patriot missile systems to Poland, the linchpin of the NATO military alliance’s Eastern frontier against Russia.
The proposed sale includes four radar sets, four control stations, sixteen launching stations, and 208 Patriot Advanced Capabilty-3 (PAC-3) missiles, the Pentagon said Friday.
The deal now awaits the US Congress’ approval as it involves the purchase of advanced technology.
Under US law, Congress must be formally notified before the administration can take the final steps to conclude a government-to-government foreign military sale of major defense equipment with a significant value.
According to officials in Warsaw, US lawmakers were likely to let Poland get the missile systems, which are manufactured by US weapons manufacturer Raytheon.
The deal was expected to be accompanied by an undisclosed agreement which could see some technology transfer as well as significant investments in the Polish military industry, Polish media reported.
A State Department official said that the deal would give Poland “greater flexibility” in joint operations with the US and other NATO allies that also possess the missile system.
“Poland’s ongoing efforts to modernize its military provide us with new areas of potential defense cooperation between our two countries,” the unnamed official said.
Poland’s defense minister, Antoni Macierewicz, said earlier this year that he expected a deal on the Patriot systems to be sealed before the end of 2017.
Warsaw has been modernizing its armed forces since 2014, after the Crimean peninsula in neighboring Ukraine was reintegrated into Russia in a referendum.
The central European country last month pledged to increase its military spending from around 2 percent of GDP to 2.5 percent by 2030, in a bid to meet US President Donald Trump’s expectations from NATO allies.
The Polish government sees the deal as a key part of the comprehensive modernization of its armed forces by 2023. Two-thirds of Poland’s military equipment still dates to the Soviet era. Its armed forces have also suffered from decades of under-investment.
The deal can also falls in line with NATO’s military buildup in Eastern Europe against what it considers to be a “Russian threat.” American troops and military equipment have long been stationed in Poland.