The U.S response to Georgia is missile defense in Poland

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The U.S. has decided brinkmanship is the way to deal with the Russians. Having seen Georgia overrun by the Russian military, Poland jumped at the chance to have a stronger U.S. defense behind them and so they now have it. Less than two years ago Russia said the following about missile defense:

U.S. plans to expand its embryonic missile defence shield to the Czech Republic and Poland are an “an obvious threat”, the Russian military says.

Poland has confirmed the U.S. wants to negotiate the use of its territory to build part of its missile defence base.

On Sunday, the U.S. asked permission from the Czech Republic and received the backing of Czech PM Mirek Topolanek.

Washington says it needs interceptor missiles in Europe to stop attacks by states like Iran or North Korea.

It hopes to build a radar station in the Czech Republic and to site interceptors in Poland.

Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski confirmed that Washington has approached Warsaw over the project and said: “We are now waiting for firm proposals.”

But Moscow insists that the installation of U.S. missiles in countries close to its western border would change the strategic balance in Europe.

Lt Gen Vladimir Popovkin, commander of Russia’s space forces, said Moscow would interpret the move as a military threat.
BBC News, 22 Jan 2007

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What Russia’s response will be remains to be be seen. At least for now, Poland have the backing Georgia did not get.

Poland and the U.S. reached an agreement Thursday that will see a battery of American missiles established inside Poland, a plan that has infuriated Russia and raised the specter of an escalation of tension with the region’s communist-era master.

The deal, which was to be signed later Thursday in Warsaw by Poland and the U.S., includes what Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk called a “mutual commitment” between the two nations — beyond that of NATO — to come to each other’s assistance in case of danger.

That was an obvious reference to the force and ferocity with which Russia rolled into Georgia in recent days, taking the key city of Gori and apparently burning and destroying Georgian military outposts and airfields.

Mr. Tusk said that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would be too slow in coming to Poland’s defense if Poland were threatened and that the bloc would take “days, weeks to start that machinery.”

“Poland and the Poles do not want to be in alliances in which assistance comes at some point later — it is no good when assistance comes to dead people. Poland wants to be in alliances where assistance comes in the very first hours of — knock on wood — any possible conflict,” Mr. Tusk said.

“This is a step toward real security for Poland in the future,” he added.

Mr. Tusk, speaking in a televised interview from the capital, said the U.S. agreed to Polish proposals that it help augment its defenses in exchange for placing 10 missile defense interceptors.

Mr. Tusk said that the U.S. met the key Polish demands “concerning the permanent presence of Patriots, missiles that will be able to effectively protect our territory.”
WSJ, 14 Aug 2008

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