Remarks by Vice President Harris to U.S. and Polish Troops
MARCH 11, 2022
Warsaw Chopin International Airport
THE VICE PRESIDENT
Good morning. Good morning, good morning. So it was very important for the President of the United States and me to be here on the ground to say hello and to say thank you to all of you for your service, for your sacrifice, for your dedication, for your patriotism.
You know, I’ll just say that I start every morning reading what we call the Presidential Daily Brief, which is generated by our intelligence community, and where I read about hotspots around the world and, in the case of the United States, threats to our national security. (Inaudible).
Then I got into the Oval Office and I sit down with the President and the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs, the Chairman. And we talk about you guys, and how proud we are and your service.
We talked about the fact that Poland joined NATO in 1999. And since 2014, the United States made a commitment to our friends in Poland to support you. And that’s when we first sent troops on a rotational basis, averaging about 5,000, and then over the course of the last couple of months, another 4,700 to stand with you in the alliance that is the NATO Alliance.
I’ve said in many places, I will say again today, that part of being in the NATO Alliance means that we have a motto which we (inaudible): An attack against one is an attack against all. And the United States takes that commitment very seriously. It is part of the reason I am here.
In this moment of Russian aggression and Putin’s war, we take seriously our commitment to defend, if necessary, every inch of NATO territory. So that is why I’m here, to reinforce and reaffirm that commitment. But these men and women are on the ground to see it through as necessary.
I was with President Duda yesterday, and we spoke of this collaboration, this partnership, this friendship and what it means to our two nations, and what it symbolizes for us as nations that are grounded and founded in certain principles, including the importance of sovereignty and territorial integrity. And that’s what’s at stake as much as anything in terms of Russia’s reinvasion of Ukraine.
So, we stand as partners. We work together. We train together. We form friendships that are based on solidarity, mutual values, and shared principles.
All of you took an oath to protect and defend your country. You have each decided to live a life of service, doing some of the most important work any individual could ever do, which is prepare to sacrifice for the sake of your nation. That is some of the most noble work any human being (inaudible).
So, before I got on that plane, I wanted to come by and tell you all — all of you — thank you. When we are in those rooms making decisions, it is you we have in mind, knowing that when we stand firm, we can back it up with you — some of the best fighting forces in the world. So thank you all — all of you. Thank you all.
And with that, I want to meet every one of you. So let’s do that.