Poland seeks military aid from U.S.

Dec. 10, 2005 at 10:06 PM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 (UPI) -- Poland is seeking military aid from the United States, saying it needs the money because of the $600 million it has spent keeping troops in Iraq.

Defense Minister Radoslaw Sikorski met this week with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and held detailed discussions with other Pentagon officials.

"As we see it, it's in the joint U.S.-Polish interest to show that it's good to be America's friend," Sikorski told the Washington Post before he returned to Warsaw.

Poland has about 1,500 troops in Iraq, down from 2,500, and is expected to decide before the end of the month on more withdrawals.

U.S. officials fear that giving Poland aid would encourage other countries in the coalition to seek assistance as a condition of continued deployment.

Assistant Defense Secretary Peter Flory told the Post aid will not be given as a quid pro quo.

"One of the main factors is, we have a finite security-assistance budget," he said. "It still doesn't allow us to do all the things that we might want to do."

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