US, Poland agree on enhanced defence cooperation

The Pentagon said that the United States and Poland had completed negotiations on the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA), which would enable increased US military presence in the central European country.

“The EDCA will enable an increased enduring US rotational presence of about 1,000 personnel, to include the forward elements of the US Army’s V Corps headquarters and a Division headquarters, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities, and the infrastructure to support an armoured brigade combat team and combat aviation brigade,” US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper said in a statement on Monday, Xinhua news agency reported.

“This is in addition to the 4,500 US personnel already on rotation in Poland,” he added.

Notably, the EDCA negotiations were completed days after the Trump administration announced the repositioning plan for nearly 12,000 US troops stationed in Germany.

Among the US troops that would be withdrawn from Germany, about 5,600 will be repositioned to other NATO countries, while the rest will be returned to the United States with some beginning rotational deployment back to Europe.

The Pentagon reasoned that the objective of the redeployment plan was to strengthen NATO and enhance deterrence against Russia, however, President Donald Trump made it clear that the move was to punish Germany for its “delinquency” on military spending.

Washington and Warsaw have been strengthening their security and diplomatic ties. The two countries are on the same page on multiple regional issues such as Iran nuclear issue, alleged Russia’s threat as well as the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Poland, which joined NATO in 1999, has long sought the deployment of a permanent US military force on its territory.