The US-Polish Axis: Against Russia or Germany?

Having all but given up on Germany, the Trump administration has turned to Poland as its main anchor in continental Europe. And the United States is not the only European state in NATO that has doubts about Germany. The German government’s insistence on plunging ahead with complete dependence upon Russia for natural gas, via Nordstream II, has alarming implications not just because it renders Poland and Ukraine useless as transit systems – which sends a message about German interest in their concerns – but also because it creates far too great a dependence by the EU/ European NATO on Russian gas supplies.

And it is not as if the Russians have never thought of using energy dependence as a lever in foreign policy. They have done so repeatedly under President Putin. But perhaps the Germans think they are special. It could never happen to them. That would be a serious error. Prudence is surely the first principle in foreign and security policy.

Friction between Warsaw and Moscow never really disappeared after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe and with the withdrawal of Soviet troops. After the fourth division of Poland in 1939, Communist Poles – whose own party had once been been abolished by Stalin – could never really persuade the people that the Russians were allies, let alone friends.

In investing in Poland as a forward base against Russia by transferring troops from Germany to Poland, the Americans are thus making a point to both the Germans and the Russians. But the Germans have their own fish to fry in the region and, when Obama out of utter indifference, ruthlessly deserted European security by cravenly permitting the Russians to seize Crimea, the Germans were not alone in thinking that the Americans in the post Cold War world were not seriously committed to the defence of Europe.

The question the Europeans do not really want to articulate is: are the Americans likely to be any more serious under Obama’s former vice-president, someone who barely knows where he is half the time, or his proposed vice-president, someone from the West coast who has barely ventured out of North America?

16.08.2020 20:13:00

Польша сможет принять 20 тысяч американских солдат

Варшава усиливает военную мощь перед лицом “российской угрозы”