Published: Wed, September 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Donald Trump welcomes Poland's request for permanent United States military base

Donald Trump welcomes Poland's request for permanent United States military base

"I am convinced that such a decision lies in the Polish interest and in the interest of the United States".

The president raised his eyebrow at the idea but didn't rule it out.

"I would very much like for us to set up a permanent American bases in Poland which we would call Fort Trump".

The US president also revealed the central European country is willing to help the US building the base.

Trump said Duda had offered the United States more than $2 billion to set up a base in Poland.

The US now supplies most of the troops, about 900, for a rotating North Atlantic Treaty Organisation battalion in Poland as part of the alliance response to Russian intervention in Ukraine and Moscow's muscle-flexing along its western borders involving large-scale military exercises.

The United States now rotates troops through Poland temporarily but permanently stationing forces there would be expensive given costs that can include housing for families, schools and hospitals. In March, the United States and Poland said technical problems would delay completion of the Polish section of a USA missile defense shield by two years to 2020.

Some allies such as Germany, however, have argued a permanent North Atlantic Treaty Organisation force in Poland or the Baltics would only escalate tensions with Moscow.

Germany has always been the primary base for American forces in Europe, with approximately 35,000 United States service members stationed in the country.

However, all the USA forces shuffle in and out of Poland and there is no permanent American base in the country.

The Pentagon, however, has said the United States remains fully committed to Germany.

Duda suggested naming the proposed facility "Fort Trump".

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Security, trade and energy topped the agenda as Trump welcomed Duda to the White House for the first time.

"I would like to invite you, Mr President, to post more American troops to Poland", Mr Duda said while standing alongside Mr Trump.

Seeking a check on Russian aggression, Poland wants the 3,000 U.S. troops now deployed in Poland on a rotating basis to be upgraded to a larger, permanent presence.

"I am with the president".

"It is the reality that we live in today", Duda said.

At a joint news conference with Duda, Trump said he is open to the idea if Poland comes up with the money to offset the cost. These activities, deemed by the alliance to be "aggressive" are mainly military drills, held by Russian Federation on its own territory.

"They respect force. They respect strength as anyone does".

Russian Federation isn't the only one opposed to the idea.

The push by Poland comes amid historic rival Russia's increased military activity.

Such arguments haven't deterred Poland. Last October, the U.S. sent a new mechanized brigade there.

Trump also fielded a question about sexual assault accusations leveled against his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford, again praising Kavanaugh and questioning why the allegation wasn't brought up earlier.

Duda (L) and Trump meet inside the Oval Office. "We just think it's very unfortunate for the people of Germany that Germany is paying billions and billions of dollars a year for their energy to Russian Federation", he said. "We've been ripped off by everybody".

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