mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
European defense
Polish President: NATO Treats Us Like a Buffer State

In the battle over the future of NATO’s European defenses, it’s not quiet on the eastern front. Andrzej Duda, the conservative president of Poland elected in May, doesn’t like what the map of European NATO bases says about where a eastern would be in the event of a war. In effect, he argues in an interview with the FT, the positioning of NATO’s defenses indicate that the alliance would use Poland as a buffer. Atlantic Sentinel:

Poland’s new president has called on NATO to place military bases in the country and take a stronger stand against what he described as the “imperialist actions” of its former Soviet master, Russia.

“We do not want to be the buffer zone. We want to be the real eastern flank of the alliance,” Andrzej Duda, who was elected in May, told the Financial Times.

Duda further stated, “If Poland and other Central European countries constitute the real flank of NATO, then it seems natural to me, a logical conclusion, that bases should be placed in those countries.”

If Duda’s early days are anything to go by, this criticism of NATO’s current policy could become a more public issue in Poland. His defense-minded Law and Justice Party looks set to round out its recent presidential victory by winning October’s general elections, and Duda will have a major platform to keep raising these issues at NATO’s next summit, which, as it happens, will be held in Warsaw.

Duda’s campaign could meet both active resistance and passive inertia. It will pit Poland against Germany, which is anxiously glancing at its wallet and wary of muddying its lucrative relationship with Russia any further. And whether it will at all help Europe get serious about defense, well, that remains to be seen.

Features Icon
Features
show comments
  • rheddles

    We’ve got 40,000 troops in Germany. Time to move them to Poland and the Baltics.

    • Pete

      No. It’s time to move U.S. troops home.

      • rheddles

        That way leads war.

        • Pete

          Maybe, but that could be a war America does not have to fight — yet again — for Europe.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Perhaps so, but the EUnicks don’t want to fight for themselves. The time has come for us to help them focus their minds on the threat at hand. If they cannot, or will not, then we need to prepare for that eventuality.

  • christophergreen

    The one aspect of foreign policy that Russia and Prussia (later Germany) could always agree on was that there should be no Poland. I don’t things have changed much.

  • Fat_Man

    Poland must forget about NATO. It is both worthless and dead. If Poland wants to stay free, they must adopt
    the Swiss-Israeli model. An army of the entire people capable of defending their homeland in depth is their only chance.

    • f1b0nacc1

      Might I suggest that a few nukes would make a delightful addition to that strategy.

  • Kevin

    It looks like defense spending in Northern Europe may have reached an inflection point. Germany, Sweeden and the UK amongst others have all mooted increased defense spending. (Further these proposals are not confined to conservatives, in Sweeden for example the opposition Socialists are pushing for faster rearmament.) The increases aren’t huge and may be a while in making it from legislative proposals to troops in the field but at least thing are turning in the right direction. These are all very wealthy and technologically sophisticated societies, once they put ear mind to it they have the resources to keep Russia in check. Putin may come to regret his 2014 adventures as provoking a response which his economy ultimately could not match, much the same way that Stalins adventures in 47-48 provoked the Atlantic Community into taking formal defense arrangements against the USSR.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service