Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Sorry for a quick post, don't have much time here in VA. But you seem to be confusing Europe with France and like minded countries. The Poles and the Balts are not about 'keeping Europe out' but rather for them a strong Atlanticist posture and rejection of any Russian rights in its neighbours are a sine qua non of Europe existing. As I've said before, from a Polish perspective Russia has as much right to object to US bases or NATO membership as Poland does to tell Russia to shutdown it's own bases in Russia, or to draw down its military. You need to make up your mind - is preventing Russian interference in its neighbours a legit objective as you say at one point, or is it not, as you say at another.

And to repeat myself some more. You can have a Europe independent of the US, you can have a good relationship with Russia, you can have a functioning EU. You can't have all three. Your policy means much closer security ties between Poland and the US, probably including Polish pressure for a large scale US military presence, a significant growth in Polish euroskepticism - hamstringing EU integration, and poorer relations between Poland and Russia.

All policies have costs, and those costs may or may not be worth it. What worries me is that you and most of the others here who share your views seem unwilling to try to grapple with those costs and risks of your preferred policies in any sort of serious fashion.

by MarekNYC on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 12:16:26 PM EST
Well, therefore the actual old Europe policy is, to posture somewhat for Georgia in the hope this will be enough to please eastern Europe without pissing off the Russia too much and keeping institutions like NATO alive,  but responding very halfheartedly to troop demands from NATO.

So given your comment is right, the policy done by current old Europe's leaders maybe even the best we can get at all, and all the talk about dividing more agressive from the US is not doable in the real world..., because a functioning EU would be priority #1 on my list.

Der Amerikaner ist die Orchidee unter den Menschen
Volker Pispers

by Martin (weiser.mensch(at)googlemail.com) on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 09:58:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I  agree. The way I see it the present uneasy balancing act has the best cost/benefit ratio for the Western European powers. The kind of radical changes Jerome and most others call for here are a very high risk strategy - one that may have benefits from a certain perspective, but Jerome does not seem to be at all cognizant of the dangers it entails for the Western Europeans.
by MarekNYC on Mon Aug 18th, 2008 at 11:33:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
from a Polish perspective Russia has as much right to object to US bases or NATO membership as Poland does to tell Russia to shutdown it's own bases in Russia, or to draw down its military.

That assumes that Russia poses a credible threat to the security and/or legitimate interests of Poland and the Baltics. There is precious little evidence for this.

On the other hand, there is rather a lot of evidence that the US (and by extension NATO) poses a credible threat to legitimate Russian interests, including not having failed states in their immediate vicinity, and not having strategic weapons deployed less than a day's tank drive from Moscow.

If this analysis is wrong, then I'd like to see some evidence for that fact.

Other than that, I think that your analysis is generally sound, at least in the short term. I draw a rather different conclusion from it, though. Given that I don't consider Russia a credible threat to any EU country or to legitimate EU interests, I think that the EU can do without Polish and Baltic posturing. And if that means doing without Poland and the Baltics altogether, then that's just tough luck. We'll survive without them, but we won't survive without political independence from Washington and a functioning union.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 22nd, 2008 at 04:56:36 PM EST
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