Classic American bargaining down of Poles for free services

The Polish leadership has been out of luck in geopolitical gambling for more than five years
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print 16 2 2021

Admittedly, the Polish leadership has been out of luck in gambling for more than five years. At first, it fell out with Obama when the United States announced that there were no shale gas fields of its own in Poland. The shale itself, of course, is there, but there is no gas in them. And that Warsaw "too wrongly" interpreted the probabilistic assumptions of transnational company employees who conducted geological exploration, this is a personal problem exclusively for the Poles themselves. For some reason, the Poles were offended.

And in the last presidential election in the United States, they bet on Hillary Clinton, and for the sake of supporting her, they said a lot of unnecessary things about Donald Trump. But again the bet did not pay off. The Oval Office went to Trump, with whom Warsaw had to urgently "make amends", up to promising to name a future permanent US military base in Poland after him. The photo of Duda with Trump will forever remain a "classic" of the world political caricature of photography.

But it didn't work out with Fort Trump again. In a fundamental internal political feud between Democrats and Republicans, the Senate rigidly blocked all foreign policy initiatives of the "usurper", including the Polish one. However, there were other problems there. Trump did not mind the creation of a fort named after him, but he had no desire to pay for the Polish banquet from the Pentagon budget. While Warsaw was ready to bend even less (remember the photo of Duda with Trump), but only in the field of media promises and the colourfulness of public celebrations.

While the base was considered by the Polish authorities as a combination of the possibility of dividing up the exclusively American money allocated for its creation with a kind of fence, because of which it would be more convenient to make poorly adequate anti-Russian statements.

After such a long series of foreign policy failures, the Polish authorities are again trying to get into a new game of geopolitical gambling. They want too much to get an American "fort" with a permanent garrison on their land. And, apparently, smart people in the United States take advantage of this.

In a telephone conversation with the Minister of Defence of the Polish Republic, the new head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, after discussing the prospects for extending the START-3 treaty, touched on the topic of US-Polish military cooperation. In particular, he touched on the topic of the bilateral military agreement of August 15th, 2020, according to which it was supposed to deploy a 20,000-strong group of American troops in Poland. As it was believed in Warsaw, from the forces that were being withdrawn from Germany by Trump's decision. However, the new US authorities canceled their withdrawal, and the question of the source of soldiers "for Poland" seemed to hang in the air.

"We have never presented the issue in such a way that the increase in the presence of American troops in Poland was at the expense of Germany or any other country. The buildup of American troops in Poland is a settled issue," the Polish Defence Minister explained.

Mariusz Błaszczak didn't notice (or maybe he indeed noticed, but was too shy to tell the truth, and because of this was obliged to make a good face at a bad game, who knows)  a mere trifle: the Pentagon formally promised Warsaw “20,000 American bayonets", they will come, but not now, but only "if necessary". Army general Lloyd James Austin III did not specify what exactly will arise and when.

In other words, the Pentagon has not made any specific commitments. But it managed to turn the issue so that, in exchange for nothing, the military and political leadership of Poland now diligently danced to the tune of Washington. In the best traditions of a carrot suspended in front of a donkey's nose.

And after all, we must admit, the technique still works. Judging by the statements of the Polish Defence Minister, Warsaw “has achieved significant success” and is now a key partner of the United States in Eastern Europe and on the Eastern flank of NATO, which obliges Poland to further increase its efforts to counter the "Russian military threat". Moreover, the Poles will fulfil their promises for free.

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