U.S. to announce ground troops to Poland, says… Polish defense minister

posted at 7:05 pm on April 18, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Leading from behind on its own troop movements, now, the Polish prime minister seemed to get ahead of the Obama administration on news of U.S. troop deployments to Poland as a response to Putin’s aggression in Ukraine. Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak told the Washington Post after a meeting with Sec. Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon:

Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine. That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.

Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details. There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.

But the defense minister also said that any immediate NATO response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, while important, matter less than a long-term shift in the defense postures of Europe and America. The United States, having announced a “pivot” to Asia, needs to “re-pivot” to Europe, he said, and European countries that have cut back on defense spending need to reverse the trends.

He seemed to go farther than Hagel went earlier today:

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday the door is open to larger U.S. military rotations through Poland, including ground troops, as the international standoff persists over Russian incursions into Ukraine.

Hagel briefed reporters at the Pentagon after a meeting with Polish Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak, who came to Washington in search of more American soldiers, warplanes and support troops to help bolster security in a country nervously eyeing Russia’s expansionist behavior.

That seems odd, right? Either way, glad to see some seriousness about the situation and solidarity with Poland.

“We have to be alert to all possibilities,” he said. “The actions of the Russians over the last two months are not only irresponsible, with violating the territorial integrity of a sovereign nation, they’re dangerously irresponsible … [NATO’s role is to] think through, what are the possibilities, what could happen, so yes, based on past actions, we have to look at every possibility.”

Hagel said the U.S. has protested an encounter last weekend in which a Russian Su-24 Fencer attack jet buzzed the destroyer USS Donald Cook in the Black Sea. Previously, defense officials had said they’d had no contact with the Russians about it, but Hagel said commanders have made their displeasure quite clear.

“We didn’t tell ‘em we were happy,” he said.

Hey, maybe we should have stuck with missile defense in Eastern Europe when Obama came into office. Rep. Gov. Mike Pence suggested in a speech Thursday we should ramp back up:

“And, with continued instability in the Middle East, Iran’s ongoing effort to develop long-range missiles and nuclear technology, and Putin’s annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, I believe we must take immediate steps to deploy a robust missile defense in Europe – especially Poland and the Czech Republic – to protect the interests of our NATO allies and the United States in the region.”


The Free Beacon has video of that speech:


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Videos from inside Ukraine showing the current tumult:
http://www.vice.com/vice-news/

anotherJoe on April 19, 2014 at 3:40 AM

Considering it Europe, why couldn’t NATO have actual European troops deployed to Poland? What’s wrong with the Brits, Sweds, maybe the Germans or Italians? Why do American men and women have to be the tip of the spear when protecting land Europeans should be protecting.

MoreLiberty on April 19, 2014 at 5:48 AM

If this report is true, this means we’re finally seeing a smart foreign policy move on the part of this administration.

See? Sometimes national interests and goals can trump the most idiotic presidents. We saw this with Carter post-Afghanistan invasion. Maybe, too, we’ve seen the last of our moronic posturing in places like Libya and Syria.

Nomennovum on April 19, 2014 at 6:53 AM

Knowing Barry, it will just be an obsolete drone and three support troops…

albill on April 19, 2014 at 7:30 AM

What the hell? You can’t lash out at alaska, western PA, and downstate IL from Poland. OH, my mistake. They said ground troops, not DHS,IRS,BLM,EPA…………..

WryTrvllr on April 19, 2014 at 8:43 AM

Two azzes shill for obama, the lilliputian in DC.

LilliPutin figured out the lilliputian and the American people. Period.

Schadenfreude on April 19, 2014 at 9:02 AM

If this report is true, this means we’re finally seeing a smart foreign policy move on the part of this administration.

See? Sometimes national interests and goals can trump the most idiotic presidents. We saw this with Carter post-Afghanistan invasion. Maybe, too, we’ve seen the last of our moronic posturing in places like Libya and Syria.

Nomennovum on April 19, 2014 at 6:53 AM

What the hell are you smoking?

bgibbs1000 on April 19, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Trying to make up for the original f@#$% up.
If this weren’t so serious I’d LMAO.
Considering it seems a lot of military commanders have been installed who are BO shills, I’m thinking the competence of available commanders has to be considered a legitimate question.
This is going to be a disaster, I fear.

Badger40 on April 19, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Send the BLM

AtTheRubicon on April 19, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Gumby should put back the missile defense shield back in the Czech Republic and Poland. Permanent NATO bases in the Baltics would show America’s resolve to NATO but we have to first get over the Dumb and Dumber foreign policy of the Barry administration.

Krupnikas on April 19, 2014 at 10:54 AM

Whether we like it or not, what Russia is doing in Eastern Europe does directly affect us and preventing the invasion and annexation of allied countries by Putin is a national security interest. It is also a direct national economic interest…unless we wish to bailout Europe again…both militarily and economically. Any claim otherwise is not based in reality.

Having said that, I recall the feeling that I got a couple of weeks ago when I first heard a Polish official (it may, indeed, have been Poland’s defence minister) demanding American troops. I was offended. Yes, Article V of the NATO treaty requires American involvement should any non-NATO force attack any NATO member, but the United States is not alone in this obligation. All NATO members are. So, where is the demand for, say, Spanish and French troops? Why isn’t the Polish government demanding British and Italian military support?

Just as Europe long ago embarked on a suicide-by-demographics mission in that Europeans decided to import the ‘children’ they couldn’t be bothered to have to support the welfare state to which they believed themselves to entitled (unfortunately for them, their new ‘children’ discovered that they liked all of those welfare bennies, too, and had no great desire to work to pay the taxes to support a bunch of old, white, relatively well-off former colonialists), Europe, like a very old teenager concluded that they shouldn’t have to be responsible for their own defence. The United States could do that freeing up money for the sclerotic welfare-state based economies.

France and the UK, along with Italy and some other EU member states are concerned that they might lose Libyan hydrocarbons? Enlist The Three American Valkyries or Three Witches (Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice, and Samantha Power) to nag Obama into joining the effort to overthrow the Lypsynka of Libya, Moammar Qadaffi. Get the Yanks to fight its battles for it. As an aside, it was a good thing that the UK had the US to fall back on considering the fact that the British Navy depleted 20% of its Tomahawk armoury within the first 4 days.

For the last seven decades, at least, the United States has played the role of The Great Enabler. We have permitted the expansion of the European welfare states, the inability of the governments to reform and modernise their enormous regulatory states, the continued shackling of business on the part of outdated demand organisations, and an overall refusal to take proper responsibility for their own national defence and security interests. In exchange, we’ve become the focus of an ever-smug, ever-condescending, and ever naive and irresponsible European commentariat and political class. They are quite good at calling meetings and condemning America and Israel, but are the first in line to demand assistance.

As I quite often remind my American friends, the one thing that Europe hates more than a strong, muscular American military is a weak one. They may look down their noses and sniff about ‘cowboys and military imperialism,’ but they are the first in line screaming for us to ‘kill people and break things’ when their fannies and interests are in jeopardy.

Scott Rasmussen wrote an interesting article during the Syrian debate and he was absolutely correct…

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an enabler as “one who enables another to persist in self-destructive behavior.” They do so “by providing excuses or by making it possible to avoid the consequences of such behavior.”

In popular culture, the term is often associated with a family covering for a drunk or drug addict. Their motives for doing so are generally good in the short-term sense of not wanting the addict to fail or be humiliated. The family members truly want to help and be supportive. But the very act of letting their loved one avoid responsibility for their actions enables the addiction to continue or get worse.

On a much larger scale, U.S. foreign policy over the past two decades has enabled global irresponsibility. Because we are always ready to intervene anywhere on the planet, the United States has protected other nations from dealing with the short-term realities of difficult foreign policy decisions. This allows both friend and foe to posture and pass judgment without consequence. As a result, we have created a more dangerous world.

The reason is simply that our interventionist foreign policy has allowed and encouraged other nations to act irresponsibly. They won’t step forward because they know we will.

It is time for the United States to end our enabling behavior.

The place to start is by staying out of Syria and let other nation’s respond as they see fit.

There is no guarantee as to what will happen next and it will certainly be uncomfortable in the short-term. The same thing happens when a family first stops covering for a drug addict. It is painful to watch others deal with the responsibility from which they have been spared for so long. However, in both the family setting and U.S. foreign policy, allowing consequences to be felt in the short-term encourages responsibility in the long-term.

The Cato Institute’s Christopher Preble puts it this way: “If we encouraged other countries to be responsible for their own security they would be better able, and therefore more willing, to play a constructive role even when their interests are not directly at stake.” A former naval officer, Preble outlines his thoughts more fully in a thought-provoking book, “The Power Problem: How American Military Dominance Makes Us Less Safe, Less Prosperous and Less Free”.

The first step on the path to a more responsible global community is to say no to U.S. involvement in Syria.

This, I think, is 100% true. The United States has played the role of enabler for far too long allowing other nations to ride the coattails of our defence dollars while becoming the Peter Pans of the first world. It is time for our allies to grow up and make investments in their own security and defence.

I understand the argument that isolationists and severe non-interventionists make about security guarantees. Yes, such did play an enormous role in both WWI and WWII. Yes, such agreements do become a hindrance and weight in many situations because we get tied to 19th and 20th century deals even though our own interests may have changed. And, yes, many of these deals (the US is obligated to something along the line of 160 security and defence guarantees around the world) are out-dated and obsolete. All of those points are quite often legitimate and should lead us to reevaluate the guarantees and treaties. Nevertheless, as long as we are part of these agreements, we really must honour our commitments. Obama has already seriously undermined American standing with his redlines and other ultimatums, which were easily uttered, but exposed the hollowness of American commitment in the Age of Obama.

Do not sign onto treaties that you are unwilling to obligate yourself to.

Do not make promises that you are unwilling to keep.

Do not make threats that you are unwilling to see through.

All of these become obvious to even first-time parents. It should be obvious to our overlords in DC. The very worst consequence of failure to put money & force behind your guarantees and threats is that your allies will no longer trust you and your enemies will no longer fear you. We’ve seen this, especially, over the last 6 years.

Until NATO is disbanded or its treaty renegotiated, we are obligated to honour our commitments. Isn’t it time that we hold other parties to the agreement to the same? If a NATO member does not want to honour its commitment, it should be expelled. If a majority of NATO members no longer want to be obligated by its treaty, then let’s disband the organisation entirely.

If Europe is unwilling to play a significant role in its own defence and survival, then why should the US?

Resist We Much on April 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM

Barry lives on Hawaiian time. But if true, better late than never.

~ Halli Casser-Jayne The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds http://bit.ly/U4EEMd

The CJ Political Report on April 19, 2014 at 11:30 AM

Barry’s troops will not be allowed ammo, and can only point weapons at the Poles. They will make sure the gate is unlocked when Putin arrives.

steveracer on April 19, 2014 at 12:44 PM

U.S. to announce ground troops to Poland, says… Polish defense minister

That damn Booosh and his imperialistic, expansionist, “American exceptionalism policies”!…oh, wait a second here…

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 19, 2014 at 2:41 PM

Here we go again.

Must be about time for some idiot European to tell me once again how backwards and ignorant the United States is, while we send our young people into harms way on their behalf.

Again.

KMC1 on April 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Must be about time for some idiot European to tell me once again how backwards and ignorant the United States is, while we send our young people into harms way on their behalf.

Again.

KMC1 on April 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

The one thing that Europeans hate more than a strong and decisive America is a weak and feckless one. A strong, muscular United States permits Europe to continue on with its spendthrift ways while excusing it from investing in its own defence.

Resist We Much on April 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM

C;mon all you Liberals. Get your kids together to go fight the Russians for Obama….Don’t be cowards

Realdemocrat1 on April 19, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Our immigration system IS NOT BROKEN. 1.2 MILLION immigrants were allowed and welcomed into America to become citizens last year. Immigration is not the problem that ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is…..

Realdemocrat1 on April 19, 2014 at 3:45 PM

About 99% of what this administration does is absolute folly, but when they take steps in the right direction, we ought to give credit where it’s due.

No, because you don’t get “credit” for trying to fix what you screwed up in the first place!! Maybe if Obama had not CANCELLED the missile shield we promised Eastern Europe in the first place, Putin wouldn’t be so emboldened. Now we have to send our sons and daughters over to help the eunuch UN “keep the peace.”

He is the WORST. PRESIDENT. EVER.

ImmigrantsWife on April 19, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Must be about time for some idiot European to tell me once again how backwards and ignorant the United States is, while we send our young people into harms way on their behalf.

Again.

KMC1 on April 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

The one thing that Europeans hate more than a strong and decisive America is a weak and feckless one. A strong, muscular United States permits Europe to continue on with its spendthrift ways while excusing it from investing in its own defence.

Resist We Much on April 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM

Honestly, I hate this. I know we should help when we can- God knows Poland has been pushed around for decades. And we have helped Europe, lots of times- in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam. But c’mon! Things are different now. A missile shield should be there instead of our kids.

“Oh, whoops, my bad. Guess I shoulda stuck with that missile thingy in Europe. Oh well, live and learn, right?”

I think every candidate for Presidency should have to have military experience. Maybe then it wouldn’t be so easy to send these kids off to war before a quick round of golf.

ImmigrantsWife on April 19, 2014 at 4:36 PM

I oppose this move on the grounds of the absolute, proven incompetence of the Obama regime to do anything but blubber meaningless platitudes.

claudius on April 19, 2014 at 5:31 PM

Sounds like Obama finally got that call from the 1980s wanting their foreign policy back.

Queen0fCups on April 21, 2014 at 10:59 AM

Keep this in perspective.
First this looks more like a NATO deployment exercise. They have them every 4-6 years since ever. Use to be deployment to Germany when there was an EAST an West Germany and Soviet block Countries like Poland. Now there is only one Germany and Poland is part of NATO. So the Deployments are to the old block and now new NATO countries of Poland. In 1984 I was on one of these and served for a short time with the Lichtenstein infantry. These usually go unnoticed by the public unless there is some sort of political gain to be had. We have been deploying Air force since at least March of this year and so have the Canadians and the Brits.

jpcpt03 on April 21, 2014 at 11:16 AM

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