Senate may require Pentagon to study permanent presence in Poland

by JENNIFER H. SVAN

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The Defense Department could soon be assessing the feasibility of permanently deploying U.S. troops to Poland to counter Russian aggression.

The U.S. Senate last week approved a measure to require the Pentagon to study the need for such a deployment and the political ramifications of it.

The language was adopted Thursday by voice vote and added to the Senate’s version of the fiscal 2019 defense policy bill, which the Senate was expected on Monday to vote on.

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., sponsored the amendment. It calls for the Pentagon to submit the report to congressional defense committees by March 1, 2019.

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The Senate amendment says the Pentagon should assess the willingness and ability of Poland to provide host nation support for a brigade combat team and potential locations for such a team.

The amendment doesn’t ask the Pentagon to examine which units in the States might help fill the team, but it does ask planners to consider whether future growth in Army “end strength may be used to source additional forces” in Poland.

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