Poland defies Russia & gets US protection

Russia may have thought its invasion of Georgia intimidated its other neighbors, but instead it may have just scared them into action. Before, Poland was reluctant to allow the USA to base anti-missile missiles on its soil, such was the intensity of Russian anger. But now Poland wants the missiles, which come with a guarantee of American protection. Read U.S. and Poland sign missile shield deal:

Officials said the deal included a U.S. declaration that it will aid Poland militarily in case of a threat from a third country and that it would establish a permanent U.S. base on Polish soil in a symbolic gesture underlining the alliance. . . .

If everything goes to schedule, the interceptor base would be ready by around 2012, officials have said. The Czechs have already signed an agreement to host the radar although parliament there must yet ratify it.

Russia has vehemently opposed placing the shield installations in central Europe, saying they would threaten its security and upset the post-Cold War balance of power in Europe.

Moscow has threatened to take retaliatory steps against Poland and the Czech Republic, its former reluctant vassals who are now part of the European Union and NATO.

In the face of Russian opposition, Tusk had argued he could not agree to the shield unless the United States agreed to boost Warsaw’s air defenses and enhance mutual military cooperation.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The deal included a U.S. declaration that it will aid Poland militarily in case of a threat from a third country.” Didn’t we already declare this to Poland when they joined NATO? Oddly, that line now isn’t in the story you’ve linked to.

    “A permanent U.S. base on Polish soil in a symbolic gesture underlining the alliance.” Yes, purely symbolic, I’m sure. A mere lagniappe. This line also disappeared from the linked-to story.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “The deal included a U.S. declaration that it will aid Poland militarily in case of a threat from a third country.” Didn’t we already declare this to Poland when they joined NATO? Oddly, that line now isn’t in the story you’ve linked to.

    “A permanent U.S. base on Polish soil in a symbolic gesture underlining the alliance.” Yes, purely symbolic, I’m sure. A mere lagniappe. This line also disappeared from the linked-to story.

  • Joe

    tODD – I think that first line underscores that Eastern Europe wants a more direct promise from the US – not just from NATO of which the US is only one member. Remember that European history teaches the Eastern countries that Western Europe has redrawn their boundaries and sold them out completely. Poland has had a pretty fluid set of boarders that were changed by its neighbors several times in the past.

  • Joe

    tODD – I think that first line underscores that Eastern Europe wants a more direct promise from the US – not just from NATO of which the US is only one member. Remember that European history teaches the Eastern countries that Western Europe has redrawn their boundaries and sold them out completely. Poland has had a pretty fluid set of boarders that were changed by its neighbors several times in the past.

  • WebMonk

    It depends on the type of base, tODD. I’ve seen some military bases that are pretty much symbolic. A couple hundred servicemen, several armed Hummers, and a couple tanks. Just enough stuff for some training exercises, but absolutely useless as a deterrent.

    I don’t know that’s what was intended, but it’s a distinct possibility. They may also be intending a large base. I don’t know. Considering that the lines disappeared from the story, it could be something the reporter got wrong/mixed-up. Who knows at this point.

    You gave examples of why I pretty much abhor Reuters as a serious news source. Unfortunately they provide a depressing bulk of MSM “facts”.

  • WebMonk

    It depends on the type of base, tODD. I’ve seen some military bases that are pretty much symbolic. A couple hundred servicemen, several armed Hummers, and a couple tanks. Just enough stuff for some training exercises, but absolutely useless as a deterrent.

    I don’t know that’s what was intended, but it’s a distinct possibility. They may also be intending a large base. I don’t know. Considering that the lines disappeared from the story, it could be something the reporter got wrong/mixed-up. Who knows at this point.

    You gave examples of why I pretty much abhor Reuters as a serious news source. Unfortunately they provide a depressing bulk of MSM “facts”.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@2), how do you figure the “US is only one member” of NATO? In what world what NATO have any significance without the U.S., or has it acted without our major involvement?

    WebMonk (@3), are you suggesting that we’re going to defend our anti-missile installation with “several armed Hummers and a couple tanks”?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@2), how do you figure the “US is only one member” of NATO? In what world what NATO have any significance without the U.S., or has it acted without our major involvement?

    WebMonk (@3), are you suggesting that we’re going to defend our anti-missile installation with “several armed Hummers and a couple tanks”?

  • Joe

    tODD that was actually my point. NATO only serves to water down the US’s reaction to activities. NATO allows other countries who maybe less committed to the Poles to suggest a lower level of involvement. If I was running a country and was given the choice of joining NATO or having a joint defense agreement with the US, I would take the latter because the French, Germans, Brits, etc. don’t get to vote on whether the US lives up to its end of the bargain.

    Cut out the potentially meddlesome middlemen.

  • Joe

    tODD that was actually my point. NATO only serves to water down the US’s reaction to activities. NATO allows other countries who maybe less committed to the Poles to suggest a lower level of involvement. If I was running a country and was given the choice of joining NATO or having a joint defense agreement with the US, I would take the latter because the French, Germans, Brits, etc. don’t get to vote on whether the US lives up to its end of the bargain.

    Cut out the potentially meddlesome middlemen.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@5), I suppose, but can you point to a time when NATO held back the U.S. from doing what it wanted?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Joe (@5), I suppose, but can you point to a time when NATO held back the U.S. from doing what it wanted?

  • Don S

    It’s not necessarily just an issue of NATO holding back the U.S. from doing what it wants. Another concern Poland might have would be that NATO could provide cover for the U.S. if the U.S. did not want to come to Poland’s aid when the need arose.

  • Don S

    It’s not necessarily just an issue of NATO holding back the U.S. from doing what it wants. Another concern Poland might have would be that NATO could provide cover for the U.S. if the U.S. did not want to come to Poland’s aid when the need arose.

  • Anon

    Isn’t Poland already a member of NATO, and therefore already having a mutual defence treaty with America?
    Perhaps this means that the Patriot IIIs would also be used to defend Poland from a Russian atomic bomb strike.

  • Anon

    Isn’t Poland already a member of NATO, and therefore already having a mutual defence treaty with America?
    Perhaps this means that the Patriot IIIs would also be used to defend Poland from a Russian atomic bomb strike.

  • allen

    Joe, I am not a general, and I don’t play one on TV, but if the US were to “live up to its end of the bargain” of a joint defense agreement with Poland, then the French, Germans, Brits, etc. would still have to allow our use of their territorial waters and airspace for logistical re-supply(or whatever it’s called). The Russians might well consider that to be a distinction without a difference. I would.

    Rather, my uninformed guess would be that the Germans regard Poland as a sort of buffer between them and the Russians. That is, they positively would want to go to war to keep the Russians out. And if Germany is in, well, the French can’t sit by and watch the Russians march to the Rhine. And if the French are in, the British can’t sit by and watch the Russians march to the English Channel. That is, the French, Germans, Brits, etc. would be dragging us into the war, not the other way round. We can’t let those Russians march all the way to the Atlantic anyhow.

  • allen

    Joe, I am not a general, and I don’t play one on TV, but if the US were to “live up to its end of the bargain” of a joint defense agreement with Poland, then the French, Germans, Brits, etc. would still have to allow our use of their territorial waters and airspace for logistical re-supply(or whatever it’s called). The Russians might well consider that to be a distinction without a difference. I would.

    Rather, my uninformed guess would be that the Germans regard Poland as a sort of buffer between them and the Russians. That is, they positively would want to go to war to keep the Russians out. And if Germany is in, well, the French can’t sit by and watch the Russians march to the Rhine. And if the French are in, the British can’t sit by and watch the Russians march to the English Channel. That is, the French, Germans, Brits, etc. would be dragging us into the war, not the other way round. We can’t let those Russians march all the way to the Atlantic anyhow.

  • Pingback: My Own Thoughts » Blog Archive » Poland

  • Pingback: My Own Thoughts » Blog Archive » Poland

  • Joe

    tODD @ 6m No. But I still think it is a legitimate concern. The creation of the EU Rapid Reaction Force that all of our NATO partners (and for a while the Clinton Administration) wanted to run the operations in Bosnia instead of NATO demonstrated that the ole girl ain’t what she used to be. It ended up being a NATO enterprise in the end but if I were Poland, I would be afraid that NATO would do the same to me, send in the EU RRF instead of an actual NATO contingent then waste all kinds of time while folks debated whether it was a NATO problem or a “European” problem or whether it was okay for NATO to act through the EU RRF (i.e. with US involvement). Not sure if you remember all this politicking over RRF vs. NATO but I was studying international politics as this was unfolding and I remember reading about many of the Europeans wanting to keep the US out of it, while the folks getting hammered wanted the US in. Then we ended up with these bizarre rules of engagement. It was a mess.

    That is really my only point – the ole’ girl ain’t what she used to be.

  • Joe

    tODD @ 6m No. But I still think it is a legitimate concern. The creation of the EU Rapid Reaction Force that all of our NATO partners (and for a while the Clinton Administration) wanted to run the operations in Bosnia instead of NATO demonstrated that the ole girl ain’t what she used to be. It ended up being a NATO enterprise in the end but if I were Poland, I would be afraid that NATO would do the same to me, send in the EU RRF instead of an actual NATO contingent then waste all kinds of time while folks debated whether it was a NATO problem or a “European” problem or whether it was okay for NATO to act through the EU RRF (i.e. with US involvement). Not sure if you remember all this politicking over RRF vs. NATO but I was studying international politics as this was unfolding and I remember reading about many of the Europeans wanting to keep the US out of it, while the folks getting hammered wanted the US in. Then we ended up with these bizarre rules of engagement. It was a mess.

    That is really my only point – the ole’ girl ain’t what she used to be.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X