On June 24, US President Donald Trump will welcome foreign leaders into the White House for the first time in more than three months: Polish President Andre Duda. The meeting will be the first meeting of the COVID-19 era, which is probably the least important thing.
Under normal practice, US officials are concerned that a month or more of high-level meetings will lose power before elections, and they may be accused of election interference or used as props for elections. Not Trump. The president repeatedly used the White House’s visits and his Twitter account to improve the election prospects of leaders he thought were allies.
The visit of the Polish President raised this strategy to a new level. Trump and Duda will meet four days before the Polish election. In that election, Dada will run for re-election with the Liberal Party Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski. Under the leadership of Duda, Poland still firmly supports the United States of America and Trump, especially because its relationship with the European Union is faltering due to the decline of its democracy. (The European Union has conducted several investigations into the violation of EU law by the Duda government, including a new Polish law that will allow judges who criticize the regime to face punishment.) Timing of meeting time depends on the basic rules of diplomacy-non-interference in internal affairs . — Obviously, we should dominate the scale of elections, and Duda is better.
It is not surprising that Duda and Trump got along. Duda is a conservative nationalist. His presidency has been characterized by the retrogression of democracy and the reduction of civil space for the exercise of basic rights and freedoms. During the campaign, Duda slammed "LGBT ideology", and he compared it with "new Bolshevism" to attract conservative Catholic voters and far-right members. In the previous government, the White House's visit could have been used to reverse the decline of democracy and moderate hate speech. Now, these phenomena reflect our own life experience.
Duda also played Trump like a violin, known for his famous appreciation of his charm. When Trump visited Warsaw in the summer of 2018, Duda presented a large number of popular crowds for Trump's public speech. Duda also bid for $2 billion to build a permanent base to accommodate the US military (he suggested to call it Trump Castle) and signed an agreement to purchase large arms and natural gas.
Du Da's two previous visits to the White House were in September and June 2018. 2019 also demonstrated the friendship between the two leaders and triggered a commitment by the United States to expand its presence in Poland. Although the White House's visit itself was a gift to Dada's election prospects, Warsaw hopes to deliver greater results.
According to reports, after German President Angela Merkel refused to invite the White House to participate in the G-7 summit, the president suddenly angered his intention to announce the reduction of US troops in Germany earlier this month. There is hope in Poland, some of them can be stationed in Poland. For Dada, this will be a huge victory. Dada has been lobbying US permanent troops in the country, and the country still regards Russia as the main threat to its security.
According to news reports, a plan under discussion will evacuate 2,000 soldiers from the United States from Germany to Poland, as well as 30 F-16 fighters and five second-hand C-130 transport aircraft. However, US officials quickly emphasized that the plan for downsizing in Germany is still in its infancy, and there is still much work to be done to implement the existing plan to expand the US military presence in Poland, including negotiations on US military status agreements.
】No matter what Trump and Duda agree with, "what" is not a problem. Poland is a staunch ally and an important security partner of the United States. The correct approach is that expanding the presence of American troops in Poland will strengthen NATO’s eastern front and mark the United States’ continued commitment to European security. After Brexit, if Poland restores democracy, it will play an important role in expanding the US view in Brussels. Establishing a strong and positive relationship with Warsaw is still in Washington’s interest.
The questions for this visit are "who", "when", "why" and "how". A few days before the election of the United States or the President of the United States, no American President shall meet with foreign leaders (whether enemies or friends). Doing so undermines Poland’s democratic process and our own values. Leaders who pretend to incite hatred against LGBTQ, weaken media freedom, and weaken the status of national courts also violate these principles. However, this week, President Trump will embrace Duda again, raising the election prospects of a leader. If elected, the leader might further disintegrate Polish democracy and weaken close American allies from within. And if Trump announces the transfer of troops from Germany to Poland, it will not be based on a sound military plan, but to satisfy the dissatisfaction of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The United States used to be better than this, and the past represented more. Hope it will appear again soon.