U.S. May Place Fighter Jets in Poland

A U.S. F-16 fighter jet lands at the Aviano Air Base in northern Italy on March 22.

From Marcin Sobczyk, the Wall Street Journal:  President Barack Obama, set to visit Warsaw this month, will announce the details of a move of U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets to Poland from the Aviano Air Base in Italy , the Polish press reports today. If the plan becomes reality, the move will irk Russia and may become a serious test of the quality of the reset in relations between Washington and Moscow, as well as those between Moscow and Warsaw.

 It’s a move Poland has long wanted. . . .

Poland has for years vied for a U.S. military footprint on its soil to complement the guarantees of mutual military assistance given by allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. But Russia reacted angrily to even plans for such presence because it would result in NATO military infrastructure on the territory of one of the former Soviet-led Warsaw Pact countries in central Europe. . . .

A renewed effort to place U.S. military infrastructure in Poland would be a stabilizing factor for a country that has spent the past two decades reintegrating with the West. Hosting U.S. soldiers on its soil would abate its old fears, making it more relaxed toward Russia.

Russia for its part has done all it could to keep U.S. soldiers from moving closer to its borders. It’s likely to resist this time, too.  (photo: AFP/Getty)

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