Monday, November 9, 2009

Polish Foreign Minister requests U.S. military presence in his country

Poland’s recent appeal to Washington reads like something printed on the front pages of newspaper from 20 years ago: Poland Fears Russian Invasion – Asks U.S. for Soldiers.

Radek Sikorski, Poland’s foreign minister, made the request for an American military presence after becoming “alarmed” by Russia’s recent military exercises conducted in Belarus, a former Soviet satellite that borders Poland. Sikorski minced no words in his entreaty: “We would like to see US troops stationed in Poland to serve as a shield against Russian aggression. If you can afford it, we need some strategic reassurance.” The appeal comes about a month after Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed America’s determination to continue providing support to Poland. It seems Mr. Sikorski is ready to put Biden’s sincerity to the test.

There are more than just distant Russian military maneuvers prompting Poland to make such a plea. Many in the Polish government feel that America’s resolve to aid its Central European ally is idle talk in light of what it sees as a pro-Russian bent in recent foreign policy decisions. Chiefly, the cancellation of the missile defense shield that was to be based in Poland has many of that nation’s leaders concerned that when it comes to conflicts of any sort with Moscow, the United States will leave Poland to its own devices.

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