Poland wants to have a permanent US troop presence. Willing to pay $2 billion to get it

And the world gets more complicated


From the article:

Baltics - Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - have all expressed concern about Russia. NATO-led battle groups have been deployed to each country. Lithuania has hosted 150 US troops since 2014, and in mid-2017 the country’s president requested a permanent US presence “to not only deter but to defend” against possible threats.

A particularly worrying scenario for some in the region is Moscow closing the Suwalki Gap, a 60-mile-long section of the Poland-Lithuania border between Belarus, a Russian ally, and Kaliningrad, a Russian exclave on the Baltic Sea. Such a move would cut off the Baltics from the rest of Europe.

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Russia has declared there will be “counter action” to any permanent US troop presence im Poland.

The shortest distance between Iran and the US, (the line an ICBM would travel) lies over Poland. In fact, at current technology over Poland is the last intercept point the US has to defend against Iranian missiles.


It does not appear that way on a flat map, but, because the earth is spherical, (see “great circles” below,) the shortest distance between two points often appears as a curved line on a flat map.

We may or may not need an earth-based ABM system in Poland, but I wouldn’t rule it out. See"Football" article below.

Being totally clueless about Eastern European affairs, I don’t see how Moscow can shut down the border between two other countries like that. Maybe they can close the road at either end, but it would seem to me that Moscow has no authority (other than usurped authority) to control a border like that.

Maybe someone in the know can enlighten me on that.

Belarus is essentially a Russian puppet-state.

Well sure, Belarus is. And maybe Kaliningrad. But neither Poland nor Lithuania are, and that’s the border Moscow is purportedly shutting down.

ICMB’s are ancient technology. There is no nuclear threat (for us anyway).

You’d have exercises operating on both ends of the gap, then it wouldn’t be an exercise anymore.

It would essentially be another invasion ala Ukraine or Georgia. I’m sure they’d come up with a security reason to cite.

Quite the gamble given both Lithuania and Poland’s membership in NATO, but the Russians would be betting on taking it so fast that there would be a reluctance to try and retake it from them.

I’ll believe it when I see it.

Literally every ICBM intercept program has been overhyped. Even the former head of US GMD basically said it doesn’t work right now.

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Your statement in your next post (to a different question) is my response to this:

And yes, putting troops in Poland would help prevent that. Your responses to me indicate that you see merit in Poland’s request.

As for me, if Poland is willing to pay what the article claims, I see no reason at all not to fill their request.

Most people don’t even realize that Soldiers right this minute are calling in artillery strikes, strafing runs, and medevacs, with a touch screen android device integrated into their IOTV. They never have to speak a word. My unit received and fielded that equipment back in 2013. Shows what people generally don’t know, huh? :wink:

We perfected the YAL-1 a decade ago. There is no nuclear threat on these shores. Anyone chasing WW2-era delivery systems is wasting their resources.

The point is that Kalingrad (an important Russian seaport that touches no other part of Russia) sits only 60 miles away from a Russian puppet state.

It is in Russia’s interest to close that distance to zero miles, but that means Russia becoming an even bigger threat to Poland and the Baltic states.

So, Poland plays at least two important security role:

  1. It lies along the ‘Suwalki Gap’ a sixty mile stretch if land not owned by Russia, but vital to Russia.
  2. It lies at a low point on the path any Iranian missile heading the US would likely take.

For a decade or more there have been mumblings about Poland wanting a permanent NATO presence on its soil. Poland is concerned that its proximity to Russia and to the Suwalki gap mean, without such a permanent presence, it is would be little more than a bargaining chip in Russia-NATO strategems.

Now, Poland is willing to put uo $2 b worth of land and infrastructure to such a project. I dunno much about Poland, but it sounds like a lot to me.

You’re saying it would require an act of war – invasion of Lithuanian and Polish land – to shut down that border.

That’s what I was asking.

I find it hard to believe Russia would invade NATO land. But that’s what it would take to accomplish the shut-down.

Putting that $2b into perspective, it is equal to 2% of Poland’s annual government expenditures. So it is roughly comparable to the US putting $80 b into something.

Would Trump consider that an opening gambit by Poland and high-ball them?


Yes. The Suwalki gap is the border between Poland and Lithuania, for Russia to bridge that gap it would need to control, by invasion ir political subterfuge territory in at least one of those countries. Russia is pretty experienced at doing such things, just ask the Ukrainians.

It is also helpful to remember that although much of the"loyal" opposition here in the US likes to portray the US as a war monger nation, internationally we are equally as known for running away like cowards, abandoning our allies. (Bay of Pigs, Prague '68, Kurds, Korea 6 months prior to Korean war etc…)

From the archives:

Sadly, he might.

“abandons” :rofl: