WARSAW: Poland hopes to receive more US troops, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said Saturday, after the Wall Street Journal reported that Washington plans to slash its military presence in Germany.
The newspaper said US President Donald Trump had ordered the Pentagon to cut the number of military personnel in Germany by 9,500 from the current 34,500 permanently assigned there.
Located deep inside what used to be Soviet-dominated eastern Europe, Poland has long regarded the United States as the primary guarantor of its security within the NATO Western defence alliance. “I really hope that as a result of the many talks we've had and by having shown what a solid NATO partner we are, some of the troops currently stationed in Germany that are being pulled out by the US will indeed end up in Poland," Morawiecki told the commercial RMF radio station.
“The real danger lurks across the eastern border, so moving US troops to (NATO's) eastern flank will be a security boost to all of Europe," he said, adding that “talks are ongoing." Spooked by resurgent Russia's seizing control of territory in Georgia and Ukraine over the last decade, Poland has campaigned for a permanent US troop presence.
Last year, Trump upped US troop rotations in the EU member of 38 million people to 5,500 personnel. White House and Pentagon officials declined to confirm or deny the Wall Street Journal story, which comes amid tensions between the Trump administration and European allies over longstanding cooperation agreements.
Washington in particular does not think Germany spends enough for its own defence.