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.