08 Jul 16. Obama: U.S. to be Lead Nation for Enhanced NATO Presence in Poland. On the first day of the NATO Summit in Warsaw, President Barack Obama announced that the United States will be the lead nation for an enhanced NATO presence in Poland, which will see an increase in NATO and American forces and military equipment.
Obama spoke during a joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda after a bilateral meeting between the two leaders.
“When I first came here five years ago I promised to increase our commitment to Poland’s security, and that’s exactly what we’ve done,” the president said.
“We now have a continuous presence of U.S. troops in Poland with our aviation detachment at Lask Air Base [and] we continuously rotate personnel and aircraft into Poland,” he added.
Under the European Reassurance Initiative that Obama announced in 2014, the United States increased training, exercises and readiness, and earlier this year the president said he increased the effort four-fold, proposing $3.4bn to preposition more U.S. heavy equipment in the region and continuously rotate an armored brigade in Europe.
Today, taking more steps to bolster NATO’s defense and deterrence posture, Obama announced that the United States will be the lead nation for an enhanced NATO presence in Poland as the alliance prepares to boost its forward presence in Central and Eastern Europe.
“That means the United States will deploy a battalion — roughly 1,000 American soldiers — here in Poland on a rotational basis to serve shoulder-to-shoulder with Polish soldiers,” he said.
And when the new U.S. armored brigade begins rotating through Europe early next year, its headquarters will be in Poland, the president added.
‘NATO Will Stand With You’
In other words, he said, Poland “will be seeing an increase in NATO and American personnel and the most modern, capable military equipment because we will meet our Article 5 obligations to our common defense.”
Obama also thanked Poland for its continued strong support for Ukraine’s efforts to defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression.
The president said that he and Duda discussed the importance of continuing to provide Ukraine the help it needs to strengthen its military and pursue political and economic reforms.
Obama also noted that the U.S. and Poland support efforts led by Germany and France to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine diplomatically, and are united in insisting that sanctions stay in place until Russia meets its obligations under the Minsk agreements.
“With the new commitments that I’m announcing today,” Obama said, “the people of Poland and our allies across the region can remain confident that NATO will stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, no matter what, today and always.” (Follow Cheryl Pellerin on Twitter @PellerinDoDNews)
08 Jul 16. NATO Secretary General: Alliance to Send Multinational Battalions Eastward. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said the North Atlantic Council has approved forward presence along the alliance’s border with Russia.
The secretary general briefed the press following the first day of North Atlantic Council deliberations at the July 8-9 Warsaw Summit. President Barack Obama leads the U.S. delegation.
NATO heads of state agreed to send reinforced, multinational battalions to the eastern part of the alliance. “These battalions will be robust and multinational,” Stoltenberg said. “They demonstrate the strength of the transatlantic bond, and they make clear that an attack on one ally would be considered an attack on the whole alliance.”
Canada will be the framework nation for the battalion in Latvia, Stoltenberg said. Germany, he said, will lead in Lithuania, the United Kingdom will be in Estonia and the United States will take the lead in Poland.
“I also welcome that many other allies announced during our meeting that they will contribute in dif