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Poland Wants To Increase Defense Spending & More U.S. Troops

Poland Wants To Increase Defense Spending & More U.S. Troops

Context:

The Polish President has recently expressed a desire to increase the country’s military spending and has been petitioning Washington for a permanent U.S. base and more troops. Peace Science has identified the unfortunate concessions countries often make in the name of “security”.

In the News:

“Poland’s president voiced hope for a permanent U.S. military presence in his country, speaking as the nation put on a large military parade on its Armed Forces Day holiday Wednesday replete with tanks and people marching in historic uniforms. Poland is fearful of Russia’s renewed aggression, and President Andrzej Duda said a permanent presence by the U.S. Army would ‘scare away every potential aggressor.'”

“The U.S. military, on its own and as part of a NATO effort, began rotating troops in and out of Poland and other nervous countries on NATO’s eastern flank, including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, after Russia’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014. Poland has recently been lobbying for a permanent U.S. base and more American forces. There hasn’t yet been a response on whether Washington will agree to a move that would be expensive and sure to infuriate Moscow. Some of the troops from the U.S. and other allied countries also marched in the parade. Poland considers the U.S. its key protector, with some doubts about whether Europe’s NATO members really would ever come to its defense”

“Duda said if the economy allows, he also wants Poland to increase its own defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2024, above the current 2 percent NATO target, which Poland already meets. The parade is part of a national holiday observed every August 15 that celebrates Poland’s defeat of Russian Bolsheviks in 1920 near Warsaw — celebrated as a near-miraculous victory for a country that has seen more than its share of defeat and occupation in past centuries.”

Insight from Peace Science:

Vol. 2, Issue 6: The Effects of Military Spending on Economic Growth

  • When host countries are less relevant to U.S. security interests, the presence of U.S. troops can lead to positive human rights practices.
  • When host countries are more central to U.S. security interests, respect for human rights stay the same, or even decrease.
  • Since the end of the Cold War, human rights education in the U.S. military has increased. However, continued expansion of this training is necessary to inform soldiers of the many ways they can influence human rights.

Vol. 3, Issue 1: Human Rights Implications of Foreign U.S. Military Bases

  • Increased military spending leads to slower economic growth.
  • Military spending tends to have a negative impact on economic growth.
  • Over a 20-year period, a 1% increase in military spending will decrease a country’s economic growth by 9%.
  • Increased military spending is especially detrimental to the economic growth of wealthier countries.

References:

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