The Trump administration has been mainly focused on the strategic threat from China in recent months, but U.S. President Donald Trump is signaling that he is keeping at least one eye on Russia, the only other nation the Pentagon believes could pose an existential threat to the United States.
After months of focusing on the trade war and military competition with Beijing, Trump this week moved to step up the U.S. military presence in Eastern Europe to deter Russian aggression. Trump announced plans to send an additional 1,000 troops to Poland during a joint press conference in Washington on Wednesday with Polish President Andrzej Duda.
Some experts said the troop increase is less about responding to any new Russian threat and more about rewarding Poland for its commitment to security. Poland is one of just eight NATO member countries that meets the alliance commitment of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense, a key sore spot in U.S.-NATO relations under Trump. Ever since his presidential campaign, Trump has harshly criticized members for not spending enough on security, particularly Germany.
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