The U.S. government has reportedly ‘donated’ 45 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to the Polish Army, Xinhua reported on Wednesday, citing the Polish Press Agency.
But what is the catch?
The U.S. has been scaling down its military operations in Afghanistan, and they have been looking for ways to get rid of its surplus military equipment. One solution: give it Poland, free of charge. However Poland is engaged in zero combat missions. So who exactly benefits from such a gift?
“Today’s delivery is only a small segment of our partnership,” said U.S. Ambassador to Poland, Stephen Mull, noting the United States’ unflagging engagement in the security of Poland.
U.S. Ambassador Stephen Mull said that the offering is just one of several benefits of partnering with the U.S.
“This is an example of a strong tradition of Polish-American partnership, and the example of a sustained commitment by the U.S. to protect Poland,” Mull said, according to Polskie Radio.
But what use would Poland have for such machinery? As the nation is not currently defending itself, and is engaged in absolutely no military conflicts.
Poland has been one of the only nations, aside from the UAE, which has expressed willingness to provide weapons to the Ukrainian military.
Late in January the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Grzegorz Schetyna, had told local media that Warsaw was “open” to selling weapons to Ukraine and said that this was just sheer “business.”
“We’re open. It is business,” Grzegorz Schetyna told Polish radio Tok FM in late January.
Polish Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said in late January that: “There are no obstacles [for Poland] to sell weapons to Ukraine,” and added that he saw “fewer and fewer chances for a peaceful solution to the conflict in Ukraine,” according to the Rzeczpospolita newspaper.
Last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko signed a law which established a joint military brigade between Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland.
On Tuesday, Ryszard Czarnecki, of the Polish Law and Justice Party, called on both Poland and the larger European Union to pursue measures to “push Russia away from our borders.”
One must wonder, will these 45 U.S. armored vehicles end up on the battlefield in Ukraine, and will there be more to follow?