President Donald Trump hosted Polish President Andrzej Duda on Wednesday at the White House, where they discussed everything from energy production to national defense. But the biggest takeaway of the day?
According to reports, President Trump agreed to increase U.S. military presence in Poland, at Poland’s request.
The nation even offered to build a new military base that would host the new troops.
Progress with Poland
As part of his visit on Wednesday, Duda gave prepared remarks and took questions in the Oval Office, where both he and President Trump highlighted areas of increased cooperation between their countries.
The pair also announced that Poland had offered to pay the infrastructure costs to construct new military facilities to house an additional 1,000 to 2,000 U.S. troops in the central European nation, in a complex jokingly referred to as “Fort Trump.” Poland had specifically requested the deployment of additional U.S. troops to their region.
However, the total number of U.S. troops in Europe is unlikely to change; most of those additional troops to Poland will be redeployed from Germany or other military outposts in the region.
Duda also reportedly signed a deal to purchase more than two dozen new F-35 strike fighter jets from the U.S. during his visit.
U.S. troops to head to Poland
Later Wednesday, following a special fly-over of the White House by F-35 jets to highlight just a few of the advanced aircraft’s capabilities, Presidents Trump and Duda held a press conference in the White House Rose Garden.
Duda noted at one point during the presser that the two NATO allied nations had signed a Joint Declaration on Defense Cooperation agreement. Duda also spoke of his desire to see an increased U.S. military presence in his nation, which currently stands at about 4,500 troops on a rotational basis.
Duda also pointed out that the additional troops deployed to Poland would likely not be a single military unit, but would most likely be composed of special operation forces, logistical units, and even potentially a division headquarters, on top of an already agreed-upon increase in missile defense components.
Duda also used this trip to sign a deal to purchase several billion dollars more in U.S.-produced liquified natural gas (LNG). Poland is reportedly also looking to construct a port facility and Baltic pipeline to help the U.S. distribute LNG to other central European nations, part of the effort to reduce the reliance of Europe on energy produced by Russia.
Reports said that Duda and Trump also discussed Poland being entered into the Visa Waiver program, which would make it easier for Polish people to travel to the U.S., and vice versa.
Duda’s visit marked the 100th anniversary of official diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Poland — and both presidents made it abundantly clear that the relationship between the two allied nations is stronger than it’s ever been, and will undoubtedly become even stronger going forward.