• First Permanent Garrison On NATO's Eastern Flank Established By U.S. Army In Poland

    March 23, 2023
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    Polish and American Troops

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    On Tuesday, the U.S. Army opened its first permanent garrison on NATO's "eastern flank" at Camp Kosciuszko in Poland. NATO's eastern border stretches from the Baltics to the Black Sea and is comprised of 8 countries, all of which are former members of the Warsaw Pact or the USSR. Now, the U.S. Army's V Corps will have a permanent presence in the region.

    According to comments from the V Corps' commanding general, Lt. Gen. John Kolasheski, the garrison represents Washington's deepened military commitment to Eastern Europe. "The relationship of the U.S. and Poland serves as an example of the deepening ties throughout the alliance," Kolasheski said before adding, "today's activation ceremony is a tangible reminder of the growth in our relationship."

    During the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, many Western leaders reassured Russia that NATO would not establish bases in Eastern Europe or expand its borders into former USSR states. All subsequent U.S. presidents since George H.W. Bush made those promises to Moscow have violated that vow and expanded NATO's border ever closer to Russia's.

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    The garrison was described as "historic" by Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak, who added that Warsaw has been "striving for this for years - for this word 'permanent' - and it has now become fact."

    Błaszczak concluded that "this is a historic moment, a sign that the United States is committed to Poland and NATO, and that we are united in the face of Russian aggression."

    Given that the U.S. only has 2 officers currently stationed at Camp Kosciuszko and 200 additional troops that rotate in and out of the base, with the Pentagon having already kept about 10,000 troops in Poland, Artur Kacprzyk, an analyst at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, claimed that the significance of the new garrison "is primarily symbolic."

    While an American diplomate has confirmed that Camp Kosciuszko was built to confront Russia, the garrison is not near the Russian border. Poland has been a key player in getting Western arms shipments and other equipment to Ukraine, given its proximity to the war-torn country. According to a tweet from U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski, the decision to open a permanent base in Poland proves that "the United States is committed to Poland and the NATO alliance, and that we are united in the face of Russian aggression."

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    Jen Snow

    Jen Snow is a former paralegal turned freelance writer who has a passion for foreign affairs. When not writing, she can be found curled up with her dog and a good book or outside playing in the Florida sun.
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