Poland is proposing to host a permanent US military base on its territory.
Poland wants to replace Germany as the US’ preferred partner in Europe, taking advantage of American distrust with Berlin over Nord Stream II and trade disagreements while capitalizing on the Pentagon’s desire to “contain” Russia, thus satisfying multiple strategic objectives at once. The Polish leadership believes that the region-wide “Three Seas Initiative” of 11 other Central and Eastern European states that it wants to lead is ideologically compatible with the Trump Administration’s anti-liberal populism and represents another strategic convergence with the US. Paradoxically, however, while Poland is striving to advance its national sovereignty, it’s nevertheless sacrificing it by wanting to host an American military base, which is why a deeper explanation of this proposal is necessary.
Poland isn’t just strategically important to Germany, Russia, and the US, but also to China, being Beijing’s top partner in the 16+1 collection of Central and Eastern European states and correspondingly one of its top Silk Road nodes. China is constructing a high-speed railway between the Hungarian and Serbian capitals that’s expected to travel further southwards through the Balkans in connecting to the Chinese-owned Greek port of Piraeus, one of the largest in Europe and the envisioned terminal of what can be called the Balkan Silk Road. This project, however, could also expand northwards through Slovakia and thus to Poland, the largest country in the region and the heart of the “Three Seas Initiative”, which would be a game-changing geopolitical development if it ever happened.
The US would clearly oppose the unrestricted expansion of a Chinese-built multipolar transnational connective infrastructure project into the EU via the “Balkan backdoor”, but any potential Hybrid War disruption that it could cause in the Balkans in order to offset this outcome could be avoided if America gains control of this Silk Road corridor through a military base in its most important Polish node. Although appearing at first glance to nullify the strategic utility of this project, it might nevertheless be the only way that the US would allow it to be built, which if successful, would enable Poland to “balance” between the US & China as it seeks to undermine its German & Russian Great Power neighbors.
As for Poland, its benefits will entirely depend on how well the government can maintain a “balance” between the US’ growing military influence and China’s future economic one.
Full article: Poland’s US Military Base Is More About China Than Russia (Oriental Review)