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Pompeo arrives in Warsaw to sign defence agreement


Pompeo arrives in Warsaw to sign defence agreement

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Photo: David Josek/Pool via REUTERS

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives in Warsaw today to meet with his Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz and Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

As part of the festivities surrounding Polish Armed Forces Day, Pompeo and Czaputowicz are expected to sign a bilateral agreement increasing the US troop presence in Poland by 1,000 to 5,500. At this time, it is unclear if the additional troops would come from Germany, where Washington will reportedly cut back its deployments by 12,000 troops and reposition at least some of them elsewhere in Europe. The accord also calls for joint reconnaissance and command training exercises between US and Polish forces.

While the move will likely strengthen US-Polish bilateral defence ties, it marks another American departure from its reliance on the central NATO apparatus to defend against Russian aggression in Europe. As long as the Trump administration steers the course of American foreign policy—and continues to press against the perceived burden of funding NATO—expect a continued US shift toward bilateral defence deals as a substitute for broader, alliance-wide cooperation. Future bilateral deals are more likely to take place between governments more critical of multilateralism in Europe, such as Hungary or Italy.

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