17:39 GMT +319 July 2019
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    US soldier of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment is seen atop a Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle (File)

    'Poles Have Enough Experience' as Pawns in the Geopolitical Games of Others

    © AP Photo / Octav Ganea, Mediafax
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    Polish defense minister Antoni Macierewicz has proposed that the US deploy an additional two divisions' worth of troops on Polish territory in order to ensure the country's "successful defense." Speaking to Sputnik, retired Polish Vice Admiral Marek Toczek explained why such a deployment would be a very bad idea for Poland.

    Speaking to Polish media last week, Macierewicz insisted that the increased US presence would not contradict existing security agreements between NATO and Russia. "Undoubtedly, two divisions isn't so much. It's just as much as we need," he said.

    Macierewicz's remarks come on the heels of comments by US Army Europe commander Ben Hodges, who assured Polish media last week that Poland was "the center of gravity of the US military in Europe," and that Russia would not dare attack, given the power that NATO and the Polish military can bring to bear.

    Speaking to Sputnik, retired Polish Vice Admiral Marek Toczek said that such remarks by top US and Polish officials, and the fact of the already existing and growing US military presence in Poland, cause him serious concern.

    "This is not [a policy for] the formation of good-neighborly relations in the region. This is a policy which leads to confrontation. This land, and the Poles especially, have a great deal of experience in terms of the outcome of such games," the officer warned.

    "The absence of a sovereign foreign policy in the region leads to a situation where Poland again becomes an object, not a subject, of geopolitics. And this is concerning," Toczek added.

    Asked why the US is keeping troops in Poland in the first place if, as Hodges admitted, Russia is highly unlikely to invade, Toczek said that part of it may come down to Washington's problems with its Western allies. 

    "The Americans have problems in Western Europe, particularly Germany. I think that they want to shift the center of gravity to Polish territory and the Baltic states. From the perspective of their interests, there may be sense in this. But from the perspective of Poland and the Baltic states, all of this will come back to bite us later," the officer concluded.

    Tags:
    deployment, troops, NATO, Antoni Macierewicz, Marek Toczek, Ben Hodges, Poland, United States, Russia
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