18 June 2019 — New Eastern Outlook
Washington’s latest decision to deploy a reinforced contingent of its military forces Poland has been received with an outcry of disappointment by the European pro-democracy public, as it means that the US is willing to roll back on the obligations it assumed back in 1997 within the NATO framework, thus undermining one of the last surviving deals designed to enhance Europe’s security.
Moreover, the extensive military support that Washington has been providing to Poland resulted in Warsaw pursuing the policies that can only be described as creeping authoritarianism. This opinion was voiced by the Director of Human Rights and Civil Society program at Human Rights First, Melissa Hooper, when she was asked to comment on the visit of Poland’s president Andrzej Duda to the United States. In turn, American human rights activist are convinced that the Congress must establish whether Warsaw’s recent crackdown on democracy goes in line with the stated US military goals.
In turn, impartial observers would all point out that the role of a “Trojan horse” that Poland was supposed to play in Washington’s previous designs has now been replaced by the role of a battering ram that must clear the way for the advancement of American special interests across Europe. As a matter of fact, Poland has been a vocal opponent of both the European Union and Russian authorities, while the latter are not being described in any other terms than an “imminent threat from the east.” The overseas masters that Warsaw relies on its geopolitical designs wouldn’t prevent Poland from taking reckless steps on the European stage, as those go in line with their “hardline policies”.
But is there any logical rationale behind such a policy?
The answer to this question has been provided by the Polish media source Interia that states that we’re witnessing the process of gradual vassalization of Warsaw that has become incapable to pursue its own independent foreign policy anymore. It’s clear that the US is taking full advantage of the fact that for decades Poland has been a faithful partner who would fulfill any demand or requirement put forward by Washington. As a result, these days Poland is being transformed into a silent instrument of US foreign policy, with its immediate neighbors starting to perceive it as nothing more than an American weapon. According to a local analyst, Lukasz Stach, Warsaw is willing to buy all sorts of small weapons and armored vehicles from Washington, as it will force Polish taxpayers to foot the bill one way or another.
It’s truly remarkable that one of the readers of the above mentioned site under the nickname salo would remind us that in his book The Grand Chessboard that was published back in 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski would reveal that Washington wants to start a war with Russia, with the Poles being able to provide the US with such a pretext at some point in the future. The readers says that there will be a war between Poland and Russia, between Ukraine and Belarus, with the Baltic countries getting involved. In turn, the US will not participate in this conflict directly, while local powers will be busy shooting each other for a decade.
Yet another reader under an alias Orzeł 1 would point out that while becoming a vassal of Washington, it lost of sight of the fact that it is situated in Europe, and while it does the bidding of an overseas power in its region, it will not be supported by its so-called ally should the need for such a support emerge. Further still, he would state that the US has never been interested in a strong European continent, so it’s only logical that even when it has taken advantage of Poland on numerous occasions, it will continue doing just that. While Washington likes to occupy the moral high ground on human rights, it would trample those whenever there’s a profit to be made from doing so.
Yet another Polish media source – Teologia Polityczna would stress that Poland relies on the United States as a guarantor of its security. However, according Błażej Sajduk, an analyst at the Jagiellonian University, Washington is only going to rush to Warsaw’s rescue if it could reap benefits from doing so, so it is quite possible that Poland would at some point become a bargaining chip in the American grand designs.
However, Polish analysts are not the only concerned about the implications of the US occupation of their country. Last April, the US ambassador to Warsaw, Georgette Mosbacher revealed the number of American soldiers stationed in Poland, which increased by 50% over the period of just six months, reaching the 4,500 servicemen deployed mark.
Local journalists have already published a number of revelations depicting the face-off between the local residents of Powidz and the US military. According to their report, in Powidz where a NATO weapons depot is being built, local residents are prepared to launch a riot and they can often be seen starting fist fights with American soldiers. Locals complain that NATO forces remind them of locusts. Americans cut down huge strips of forest, heavy vehicles often block local roads, they do no pay any taxes and flood the local sewage system. At the same time, the Americans spat on the specially protected natural parks Natura 2000 and Powidzki Landscape Park, that remain under protection of the European Union authorities.
Meanwhile, Trump has already been doing business with the most faithful of US allies: he promised to send another thousand soldiers to Poland, with Warsaw being demanded to pay for this military contingent. He has also practically sold a total of 32 of the newest good-for-nothing F-35 jets to Warsaw. In addition, Poland has signed a contract on the purchase from of another approximately 2 billion cubic meters of liquefied natural gas from the US for a grand total of 8 billion dollars, so the shipment is about to be launched across the Atlantic.
Since at this point Warsaw is virtually incapable of standing up for itself, the UK has decided to join the struggle for the money of Polish taxpayers, since they are so eagerly being wasted on all sorts of fancy weapons systems. This was revealed by the British MP Owen Paterson during the Belvedere Forum, which took place in Warsaw in early March.
To add insult to injury, one has to add that Warsaw has also signed an agreement on the purchase of 20 US-made multiple-launch rocket system HIMARS last February, with this deal’s worth being estimated at 414 million.
So the EU is not only one to foot the bill for Washington’s desire to treat its military contractors in Poland, as local residents are going to have a good taste of the price of American friendship. But will the Polish taxpayer be willing to stomach it?
Jean Périer is an independent researcher and analyst and a renowned expert on the Near and Middle East, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook“.