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Polish-American Relations Regarding Iraq, Iran, Russia and NATO

by Joerg in Berlin Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 03:30:00 PM EST

At my day job at Atlantic Community, we have published quite a few interesting articles on US-Polish issues. Polish perspectives are under-reported in the German and American mass media, but they are important because Poland is one of Europe's bigger countries, is considered very Pro-American and was seen as the primary "New Europe" country, a term that is less frequently used these days, but is still controversial.  


Marek Swierczynski, a journalist at the Polish TV channel TVP, reflects on the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war:

Poland's decision to join the "coalition of the willing" has left the military stretched beyond capacity, the society in serious mistrust of their leaders and perception of a joint effort for a good cause seriously damaged. It took 25 lives 5 years and 3 governments to rethink and withdraw.

Ryan R. Miller of the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) in Washington, DC. writes about Poland's Iran Option:

Possible Polish-Iranian energy cooperation puts U.S. policy makers between a rock and a hard place, as America finds itself committed both to isolating the Islamic Republic and supporting Polish efforts to outflank Russia's Gazprom.

Wess Mitchell, who is the Director of Research at CEPA, outlines recent developments between the United States and Poland regarding the US missile defense program. He concludes that relations between Poland and Russia are likely to deteriorate and Tusk may have compromised himself by acting so decisively this early in his term: Missile Defense: Poland Has Less Room to Maneuver.

Anna Nadgrodkiewicz sums up contentious issues in Polish-American relations: Polish troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the necessity of easing visa requirements, and the proposed missile defense shield. See her article Managing Image and Expectations.

Marek Swierczynski  sees NATO at a Crossroad in a second article:

Just before the NATO summit in Bucharest, the differences on what and how the Alliance should do in the future seem all but rising on both sides of the Atlantic. The Warsaw conference on NATO's Transformation made fundamental divides clearly visible. (...) The new NATO members seem to live in a Neverland. Professor Kuzniar assessed that the Alliance is the only force of global reach and capabilities. Wrong. There is no such thing as NATO global capability. There is the US global capability and to be more precise it is one of the US Navy.

 

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Poland would be well advised to remember that they fucked Gazprom over in the late 90s when the company was very weak, and that was not forgotten.

NordStream is the direct, logical consequence of their behavior back then.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 05:56:57 PM EST
What? Actions have consequences? That's unpossible.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Thu Mar 20th, 2008 at 05:57:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Poland would be well advised to remember that they fucked Gazprom over in the late 90s

I don't remember that, could you recount the details?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 05:44:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
relations between Poland and Russia are likely to deteriorate and Tusk may have compromised himself by acting so decisively this early in his term: Missile Defense: Poland Has Less Room to Maneuver.

The article throws up the question whether we saw a rogue action by foreign minister Sikorski (who is a true-blue neocon of AEI education, and someone who jumped off the sinking boat of the Twins before the last elections) or truly a strategic blunder by Tusk & the entire government. If only someone better versed in Polish politics would turn up to answer that.

the necessity of easing visa requirements

I'll go out on a limb and say there is no such necessity. Poles travelling to the US are typically upper-class and upper-middle-class:  the average guy can't pay for a transatlantic tourism trip anyway, not to mention teens-tweens playing au-pairs, businessmen, and politicians themselves. (The only exception is the minosity of students not with rich parents and on a stipendium, but they would have choices elsewhere in the world.)

This is a rather narrow elite interest, yet in spite of that and for that reason our ex-Eastern-Bloc political elites are duly offering up everything for it: going to Iraq, unquestioning support in NATO, defense orders, missile defense, ditching own citizens' civilian information rights, ditching EU unity.

But, to criticise the EU-15, too, where's the government that championed cross-EU solidarity by risking US visa re-introduction or other restrictions for own citizens?...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 06:00:54 AM EST
Overall, do I correctly read an intent to show that European advocates of Transatlantic dialogue aren't necessarily unquestioning Yes-men, even in supposedly hyper-Atlanticist Poland? If so, a point well made.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 06:13:42 AM EST
Yes. You read that correctly.

I thought it goes without saying that "European advocates of Transatlantic dialogue aren't necessarily unquestioning Yes-men."

Responding with Yes only is not much of a contribution to a dialogue...

by Joerg in Berlin ((joerg.wolf [AT] atlanticreview.org)) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 07:37:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, semantically. The problem is when in practice, the advocates of 'dialogue'

  1. allow (ar actively intend) a framing of issues that is advocated by one side (even if looking for something 'in the middle', thereby denying that sometimes one side might just be wrong);
  2. talk some nice words for the audience on this side of the pond but the practical outcome of those suit only one side;
  3. pretend there is a two-way symmetry, between two sides talking, where there is one big guy one one side and multiple small ones o the other (especially when ignoring how these are played against each other).

That said, even if I have an opinion of Atlanticism not any higher than afew's, I do find it interesting that, say, the CEPA neolibs can see some policies Russia has a problem with as not good.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 02:35:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"European" advocates?

Three of the four are in Washington DC where they work for free-market American-influence think-tanks. Two of these are American (see my comment below), the third, Anna Nadgrodkiewicz, may be Polish but works for CIPE:

CIPE | Center for International Private Enterprise

Mission

To strengthen democracy around the globe through private enterprise and market-oriented reform.

The only European likely to be in Europe is Marek Swierczynski.

Point well made or PR operation?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 09:45:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But afew, it's not like I would be surprised at European Atlanticists working for a US think-tank, especially neolib ones! This is beside the point. Or even adding to it: bits of critical tones coming from such places are noteworthy.

For the record, I read into the linked articles, and I found only the last one disappointing in the above terms: the Neverland NuYurpians are living in is just about the standard "lack of European military capacities" theme.

As an interesting aside, there is a Hungarian political philosopher I quoted before, who became a rather doctrinaire right-libertarian in the early nineties, when he went to the US to further study at universities and think-tanks - and came back with a conclusion that it's all wrong, swinging to the far left in short time...

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 02:14:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK, so your answer to my question is it's not a PR job, it's a point well made.

You're usually a tougher nut to crack! :-)

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 02:21:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Depends on who is the nut-cracker you mean: you or Jörg?

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 02:39:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Center for European Policy Analysis is an affiliate of the Dallas, Texas-based National Center for Policy Analysis:

National Center for Policy Analysis - SourceWatch

The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a think tank. It is a "communications and research foundation dedicated to providing free market solutions to today's public policy problems ... [and] prides itself on aggressively marketing its products for maximum impact by 'targeting key political leaders and special interest groups, establishing on-going ties with members of the print and electronic media, and testifying before Congress, federal agencies, state lawmakers, and national organizations.'"

Founded in 2006 as a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit an affiliate, The Center for European Policy Analysis promotes "open markets, minimal government, and free trade" and "seeks to generate ideas and identify practical solutions for the policy dilemmas confronting the Central European community of nations, promote a more active Central European voice in Euro-Atlantic affairs, and reinvigorate U.S.-Central European relations.

These conservative, free-market think-tanks, funded by Lynde and Harry Bradley, Earhart, Olin, Scaife, et al, specialise (using numerous "experts" from other think-tanks with names like Hudson Heritage Heartland Cato Adam Smith Atlas etc) in shilling for American business interests, in particular regarding energy, global warming, healthcare, and, in the case of CEPA, Atlanticist interests in breaking Europe apart by using the lever of American relations with "New Europe" ie the Central European countries.

Fun fact: the NCPA publishes a Global Warming Primer for use in schools etc -- in English, naturally enough, but in only one other language, Czech... Huh? Why only Czech? Could they have Vaclav Klaus on board? (Whatever -- but here's a crossover between their interest in promoting business interests over environmental concerns, and their interest in Central Europe).

It's good of you to take time off your "day job" at Atlanticist propaganda outfit Atlantic Community to offer us these links to, <cough>, Atlantic Community, where we can read think-tankers of such sterling quality. Thanks a million, Joerg.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 06:53:33 AM EST
Why don't you read what they say and respond to their arguments rather than look up their supposed affiliations?

Besides, have a look at DoDo's comment above.

by Joerg in Berlin ((joerg.wolf [AT] atlanticreview.org)) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 07:40:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Supposed" affiliations? Are you denying them?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 21st, 2008 at 07:54:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]


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