Poland’s head of state Andrzej Duda is courting U.S. soldiers at the White House. Trump is harming NATO and the US with such plans, his party friends warn.
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has visited Trump before Photo: Czarek Sokolowski/ap
Polish President Andrzej Duda’s visit to U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House is a meeting of politicians in distress, the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza very aptly comments. Both will soon have to face the voters of their countries – and fear for victory.
Poland’s government wants to present itself as a good partner of the U.S. in fending off Putin’s quest for power; Trump is granting Duda the honor of being the first foreign head of state to be received in the White House since the outbreak of the corona pandemic.
Above all, Poland wants to distinguish itself positively from neighboring Germany, which in Trump’s eyes is ungratefully neglecting its NATO duties but allows itself to be protected by U.S. troops.
That is why Trump wants to punish Germany with a partial troop withdrawal. Apart from the verbal threat, nothing specific about this move is known so far. But as with many of the U.S. president’s gut decisions of late, Trump is facing headwind from within his own camp: six Republican members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee have warned Trump in a letter that a major troop withdrawal from Germany would endanger U.S. national security. Putin will rightly doubt NATO’s unity and preparedness if Trump tries to play NATO allies off against each other, he said.
Trump should take this warning seriously. The debate he unleashed about U.S. troops in Europe is another link in a chain of ill-conceived foreign policy moves by the president. They regularly make even his inner circle of advisers shake their heads and frantically try to limit the damage – his former security adviser John Bolton just proved this in his book. So it is only logical that Angela Merkel does not want to waste her time with a transatlantic trip to the G7 summit in Washington that Trump has scheduled.