Poland has been a strong NATO Ally since its accession to the Alliance in 1999 and is a linchpin of Eastern Flank security. Poland is committed to burden sharing and meets its Wales commitments to spend two percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on defense and invest 20 percent of its defense budget in major equipment. The Polish government has further pledged to raise that investment to 2.5 percent of GDP by 2030.
Poland is a crucial strategic ally in Central Europe and cooperates with the United States in international fora to promote stability and security in the region and beyond. Along the eastern flank of NATO, Russia continues to engage in frequent malign influence and hybrid activities, including cyber, and to use other unconventional tactics to undermine our collective security. Countering hybrid threats and proactively enhancing resilience of key infrastructure and critical sectors is a top Alliance priority.
Together, the United States and Poland maintain a forward posture to defend the Alliance and counter Russia, which continues to undermine the rules-based international order. The United States leads the enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Poland and deploys a rotational Armored Brigade Combat Team under Operation Atlantic Resolve, funded through the European Deterrence Initiative. Currently, approximately 4,500 U.S. personnel are on rotation in Poland. In 2019, the United States and Poland signed two joint declarations that listed planned locations for enhanced U.S. military presence in Poland and concluded an Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) in 2020. The EDCA supplements the NATO Status of Force Agreement, further streamlines the functioning of U.S. forces in Poland, and establishes a mechanism for cooperation on infrastructure and logistical support for enhanced rotational presence. Additionally, the United States is building an Aegis Ashore facility in Poland as a contribution to NATO Ballistic Missile Defense.
Poland is a major partner in NATO efforts at military modernization. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Warsaw Pact, Poland has been divesting itself of legacy Soviet equipment while procuring modern U.S. defense systems. Poland has undertaken an ambitious multi-year, multi-billion-dollar defense modernization program that includes significant purchases from the United States. In March 2018, Poland signed an agreement worth nearly $5 billion for the Patriot air and missile defense system. Poland is also procuring the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS), worth $411 million, which will improve its indirect fire capabilities. Poland has also agreed to purchase 32 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters plus services and support worth ~$4.5 billion under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program overseen by the U.S. Department of State. This procurement will help Poland replace its fleet of aging MiG-29 and Su-22 aircraft.
Currently, the U.S. has $15.66 billion in active government-to-government sales cases with Poland under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) system. FMS cases notified to Congress are listed here, and recent and significant sales include: Javelin missiles and Javelin Command Launch Unit, the F-35A, the HIMARS, F-16 follow-on support, AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM), and the Integrated Air and Missile (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS)-enabled Patriot Configuration-3+ with Modernized Sensors and Components.
From CY 2015 through CY 2019, the U.S. has also authorized the permanent export of over $861 million in defense articles to Poland via the Direct Commercial Sales (DCS) process. The top categories of DCS to Poland were ground vehicles ($286 million); gas turbine engines ($165 million); and fire control, laser, imaging, and guidance equipment ($127 million).
Poland received $2.95 million in International Military Education and Training (IMET) funding in FY 2019 & FY 2020. IMET provides professional military education and training to military students to increase professionalization, build capacity in key areas, enhance joint interoperability, create a better understanding of the United States, and grow lasting military-to-military relationships.
Since October 1973, Poland has participated in UN peacekeeping operations in Namibia, Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, and Chad. Poland participated in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) from April 1992 to November 2009 and returned to the mission in 2019. As of March 2021, Poland contributes 252 troops to UNIFIL.
For further information, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at PM-CPA@state.gov, the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter, @StateDeptPM.