NATO Poland
U.S. military equipment, which arrived as part of a NATO mission, is unloaded at a port in Gdansk, Poland, Sept. 13, 2017. Agencja Gazeta/Bartosz Banka via Reuters

In order to have a permanent United States’ military presence in the country, Poland is willing to put in as much as $2 billion, a defense military proposal by the latter claimed.

The proposal comes a month before the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit begins in Brussels, and is another push in Poland’s desire to have American troops in the country. Poland has expressed this need since its entry into NATO in 1999; however, the current urgency is due to Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region.

“Following Russian invasions in Georgia and Ukraine, countries in Central and Eastern Europe are concerned that they are next in Moscow’s crosshairs,” the public document stated.

Regarding the need for American military, the document mentioned, “This proposal outlines the clear and present need for a permanent U.S. armored division deployed in Poland, Poland’s commitment to provide significant support that may reach $1.5-2 billion by establishing joint military installations and provide for more flexible movement of U.S. forces,” while adding it was willing “to share the burden of defense spending, make the decision more cost-effective for the U.S. government and allay any concerns for Congress in uncertain budgetary times.”

Polish news portal Onet, which first obtained the document, reported the ministry sent the proposal to the U.S. government, Congress and to American think-tanks.

Apart from detailed maps of the future military bases, schools, hospitals, etc., the document also revealed how the funds can be used, such as for the construction and renovation of social, communication and military infrastructure.

The disclosure of the document did not sit well with all.

Janusz Zemke, former Polish deputy defense minister, said: “Of course, these issues should not be public. In this case, one should also distinguish evidence from naivety. You cannot negotiate with a partner and uncover yourself, revealing the details of our proposals. It's extremely unprofessional.”

Former head of Poland's Ministry of Defense, Tomasz Siemoniak, mirrored Zemke’s opinions.

“It is an expression of helplessness of the current heads of the defense department. This type of diplomacy and disclosure of information that should not be public, weakens the negotiating position of our country.”

The proposal, which was drafted by senior defense ministry officials and Polish military officers, was sent to Washington without consulting the foreign ministry or even the president, Andrzej Duda, Onet reported.

“The Ministry of Defense presented — in accordance with its own features — a framework of proposals reflecting the assumptions of Polish foreign policy agreed in the course of governmental work,” the foreign affairs ministry told Onet in an email, and added “the content of the document did not require detailed arrangements with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has asked the secretary of defense to assess the cost of permanently stationing American troops in Poland.

According to the draft budget of the U.S. Department of Defense for the financial year 2019, the committee called upon the “Secretary of Defense to report on the feasibility and advisability of permanently stationing a U.S. Army brigade combat team in Poland.”

Currently, Poland has U.S. armed forces and NATO units. However, these units rotate between Poland and three Baltic states to the north — Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.