Poland After Trump
Last week, on his way to the G20 summit in Hamburg, US President Donald Trump visited Warsaw, where he delivered a speech to loud applause. But the tools Trump used to excite public opinion – praise that cost him nothing and promises of arms and gas that are far from guaranteed – could end up harming Poland.
WARSAW – Donald Trump came, he saw, he conned. The US president’s trip to Poland, a stop on his way to the G20 summit in Hamburg, was arranged at the last minute: Trump’s administration, fearing the reception he would receive in the United Kingdom, decided that Europe’s most pro-American country was a much safer destination. And, indeed, the speech he delivered in Warsaw was met with loud applause, though it may not have been quite as positive for Poland as it seemed.
No one doubted that Trump would receive a warm welcome in Poland. He plays masterfully to a nationalistic crowd, like the one the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party bussed into Warsaw for the event. And a speech devoted to the cult of Polish martyrdom was precisely what both sides needed to assuage concerns about the steady stream of revelations about contacts between Trump associates and Russia.
But Trump offered more than his usual rabble-rousing show. He finally – and unexpectedly – endorsed Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, NATO’s collective-defense clause, a move that was all the more significant for being delivered in Poland. He also announced that the United States would sell Patriot missiles to Poland as part of an $8 billion arms deal, the largest in Polish history.