US Provides $2 Billion Military Aid Package to Warsaw | The Libertarian Institute (2024)

by Connor Freeman | Jul 8, 2024

Washington is providing its NATO ally Poland with a second $2 billion foreign military financing (FMF) package in less than a year, Breaking Defense reports. In recent weeks, Warsaw has given Kiev a green light to use Polish-provided weapons to strike the Russian mainland as well as signed a bilateral military pact with Ukraine, agreeing to shoot down some Russian missiles.

A State Department official boasted to the outlet of how the two FMF loans are benefiting the US arms industry as well as strengthening the Washington-led bloc embroiled in its Ukraine proxy war with Moscow. “It’s impressive that it hasn’t even been a year and they [Poland] are moving out pretty quickly… We’re happy with the process. We see it as a success. We’re happy that they’ve been able to move out quickly — not only does it help NATO, it helps the US defense industry as well, the US economy. So, we’re definitely happy with the process.”

As with typical FMF loans, the funds furnished by the State Department to a foreign government must be spent on American-made weaponry and equipment. What makes this loan unique, however, is instead of a grant to purchase arms, this loan includes interest which Warsaw must repay. The US is putting up $60 million to guarantee the loan and cover initial fees. The official said details regarding how the funds will be spent, on what kinds of weapons, will not be shared during this week’s NATO summit. Instead, he insisted the Poles “[have] a list of things they want to achieve” and said to expect future announcements.

The official noted the previous FMF loan, issued last September, has either been totally spent or is earmarked for purchases including four aerostat-based early warning systems which accounts for approximately half the first loan. The unusual loan-based structure allows “the interagency to get FMF funding to foreign allies without needing to wait on the appropriations process,” the outlet notes, adding Congress extended the authority to issue these loans through the end of the 2025 fiscal year.

Asked if other countries will receive such loans, the official answered “We are looking at it, and there are other countries that remain competitive… The reason you’re seeing Poland is, of course, the situation with the ongoing war in Ukraine. They’re ready to move out.” The official emphasized that talks with multiple countries are ongoing, while repeatedly praising Warsaw’s high military spending and deeming Poland “the tip of the spear on this for us right now.”

The State Department stated “Poland is a leader in NATO, currently spending four percent of GDP on defense, the highest in the Alliance. Poland hosts thousands of U.S. and Allied forces, including U.S. V Corps Headquarters (Forward) in Poznan.” The US has roughly 10,000 troops stationed in Poland. Since Russian forces invaded Ukraine, Warsaw has announced plans to buy a myriad of American arms including Abrams tanks, Black Hawk and Apache helicopters, HIMARS rocket launchers. Poland is seeking more Patriot air defense batteries as well.

This latest financial and military infusion comes after Ukraine and Poland signed a bilateral military pact this week which includes a mechanism for Warsaw to shoot down Russian missiles and drones. This provision entails the potential to provoke a NATO-Russia war, something Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has long sought.

During a joint presser with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Monday, Zelensky declared “We are especially grateful for the special arrangements, and this is reflected in the security agreement. It provides for the development of a mechanism to shoot down [by Poland] Russian missiles and drones fired in the airspace of Ukraine in the direction of Poland.”

In November 2022, after a Ukrainian air defense missile killed two people in Poland, Zelensky and his top advisors said it was a Russian strike and demanded NATO take action. “Hitting NATO territory with missiles. … This is a Russian missile attack on collective security! This is a really significant escalation. Action is needed,” Zelensky railed in a video address.

This assessment was completely at odds with those made by the US, Poland, and NATO which determined the Polish casualties were not the result of a Russian missile strike. At the time, a diplomat from a NATO member state told Financial Times “The Ukrainians are destroying [our] confidence in them. Nobody is blaming Ukraine and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile.”

US Provides $2 Billion Military Aid Package to Warsaw | The Libertarian Institute (2024)

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