Saturday, January 8, 2022

Will Biden cut troops in Eastern Europe out of spite?

 Russian demands have enlivened the debate in Sweden over a possible accession to NATO. On the other hand, Biden may actually give in to those demands. There are reports that the Biden administration may propose a mutual reduction of military presence in Eastern Europe, including Poland and Kaliningrad.

Knowing that many of Biden's policy decisions were simply made out of spite, the question needs to be asked if he will also reverse Trump's increase of U.S. troops presence in Poland and Eastern Europe?

Before Christmas, the head of Swedish diplomacy, Ann Linde, rejected Russian demands to halt NATO's "further expansion." "World order must be based on rules governed by international law, and each country has the right to make its own security policy choices," she said.

On Thursday, January 6, Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson met with the President of Finland, Sauli Niinisto. After the talks, she stated that the European international order was "not negotiable." She also emphasized that "in Sweden, we decide about our foreign and security policy and with whom we cooperate."

Unfortunately, there is alarming news coming from the United States regarding the upcoming talk between Biden and Putin. NBC News reports that "the discussions could potentially address the scope of military drills held by both powers, the number of U.S. troops stationed in the Baltic states and Poland, advance notice about the movement of forces, and Russia's nuclear-capable Iskander missiles in the Russian territory of Kaliningrad between Poland and Lithuania." NBC NEWS says that a current U.S. administration official and two ex-officials familiar with the government's current plans are among its sources.

The reports were denied by the chargé'd affairs of the U.S. Embassy Bix Aliu.

“It is not true that the US is considering withdrawing troops from Eastern Europe. We are closely associated with our NATO allies. We solve this crisis together, according to the principle "nothing about you without you" - he wrote on Twitter.

While the denials are strong looking at last year's events, especially in Afghanistan, few people are convinced. It is needless to say that Polish leaders are alarmed.