Behind Trump’s Trip to Poland

Before visiting many key U.S. allies, including either Mexico or Canada, President Trump traveled to Poland last week, getting a friendly reception from another nationalist politician, President Andrzej Duda, reports Dennis J Bernstein.

By Dennis J Bernstein

Perhaps the most overlooked part of President Donald Trump’s trip to Europe last week was his 18-hour visit to Poland as the guest of political ally and fellow nationalist, President Andrzej Duda.

President Donald Trump, speaking in Warsaw, Poland, on July 6, 2017. (Screen shot from Whitehouse.gov)

I interviewed Ronald Cox, a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Florida International University, about the significance of Trump’s decision to make an early visit to Poland. Cox is author or editor of numerous books including Corporate Power and Globalization in US Foreign Policy. I spoke to Cox on July 6.

Dennis Bernstein: Why did Trump go to Poland? What’s your overview? And then let’s talk about what we understand might have happened.

Ronald Cox: Trump is essentially continuing in Poland what he’s already doing in the United States. He’s extending militarization, and support for those countries that are thoroughly militarizing their economy, as well as political parties that are in favor of unleashing a further militarization and policing of the domestic population, which Trump approves of, not only at home but in a country like Poland.

DB: Say a little bit more about that, doing the same thing there as he’s doing here? Give us a few more details on that.

RC: Okay, so the first two aspects of Trump’s speech are worthy of note. The first aspect is the support for Poland’s increased military spending toward NATO. Poland has been one of five countries that have surpassed a 2% threshold, that Trump was urging all NATO member countries to pass regarding 2% of military spending… 2% of GDP. So Trump celebrated that aspect.

The second aspect that Trump celebrated was this particular attitude of a political party — the Law and Justice Party in Poland — which is engaged in a militarization campaign, a policing campaign inside Poland that has strong…

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