Sep 03, 2019 13:19 UTC
  • Pence says US military to expand presence in Poland; NATO allies yet to hit spending goals

The United States is planning to expand its military presence in Poland, Vice President Mike Pence says, praising the NATO ally for being among the few members of the Western military alliance who are trying to meet Washington’s spending requirements.

According to Press TV, speaking at a joint press news conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in Warsaw, Pence said Monday that the two sides were moving forward with plans to deploy 1,000 more American troops in the European country.

“Lots of proposals have been put on the table,” Duda said. “We hope this year we will be able to sign a final agreement concerning the extension of the US presence.”

Pence said the two countries had finalized sites for the joint bases but referred questions about possible timelines to the Pentagon. American troops in Poland currently live and train at a number of Polish bases on a rotating or temporary basis.

“I know that is in the process as we speak,” Pence said of the timeline targets, “and it reflects a part of the United States’ ongoing commitment to this alliance and our relationship to Poland, rotating troops through this country.”

Pence arrived in the Polish capital on Sunday morning to attend the 80th anniversary of World War II along with other world leaders.

He was filling in for President Donald Trump, who called off his scheduled trip to better monitor Hurricane Dorian, the deadly storm that is currently battering the Bahamas and is expected to strike Florida in the coming days.

Pence said Trump was expected to reschedule his trip to Poland this fall.

When Trump does visit, he likely will demand certain NATO allies spend more on defense, a drum he’s been beating since the start of his presidency — and a theme repeated by Pence during his visit to Warsaw.