Is it Washington’s Turn to Occupy Poland?
Washington’s latest decision to deploy a reinforced contingent of military forces to Poland has been received with an outcry of disappointment by the European pro-democracy public, as it means the US is willing to roll back 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 Washington has been providing Poland resulted in Warsaw pursuing 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 Congress must establish whether Warsaw’s recent crackdown on democracy goes in line with stated US military goals.
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point out that the role of a “Trojan horse” that Poland was supposed to play in Washington’s previous designs has now been replaced by the role of a battering ram that must clear the way for the advancement of American special interests across Europe.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.” Their overseas masters whom Warsaw relies on to decide its geopolitical policies won’t prevent Poland from taking reckless steps upon 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 which states that we’re witnessing the gradual vassalization of Warsaw which has become incapable to pursue its own independent foreign policy any longer. 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 beginning 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 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 published back in 1997, Zbigniew Brzezinski would reveal that Washington sought 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 reader says that there will be a war between Poland and Russia, between Ukraine and Belarus, with the Baltic countries also becoming involved. In turn, the US will not participate in this conflict directly, while local powers will be busy fighting each other for a decade.
Yet another reader under an alias “Orzeł 1″ would point out that while becoming a vassal of Washington, Poland lost 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 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 tramples them whenever there’s a profit to be made.
Yet another Polish media source – Teologia Polityczna would stress that Poland relies on the United States as a guarantor of its security. However, according to Błażej Sajduk, an analyst at 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 amid America’s grand designs.
However, Polish analysts are not the only ones 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 a period of just six months, approached 4,500.
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 not 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, which remain under the protection of 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 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 shipped across the Atlantic.
Since at this point Warsaw is virtually incapable of standing up for itself, the UK has decided to join the feeding frenzy over Polish tax dollars, since they are so eagerly being wasted on all sorts of fancy weapons systems. This was revealed by 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 systems (HIMARS) last February, with this deal estimated at 414 million dollars.
So the EU is not only the 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 as well. 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“.