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.