Poland agrees to host US ABM systems; Wants NATO base too - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#1441223
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By Susan Cornwell
Thu Jan 31, 10:19 PM ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Poland would like to host a major NATO military installation on its soil as part of a deeper security relationship with the United States, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski told Reuters on Thursday.

Sikorski is in Washington to discuss with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others the conditions under which Poland would agree to host a defensive missile shield, a U.S. proposal which has angered Moscow, Poland's eastern neighbor.

"We've been a NATO member since '99, but we don't have any hard NATO facilities on our territory," he said in the interview with Reuters. "The only thing we have is a conference center. And we are a border country of NATO."

The Bush administration wants to locate 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar installation in the Czech Republic under a $3.5 billion plan to defend Europe and the United States against a possible missile attack from Iran.

Sikorski says Poland feels no direct threat from Iran, but takes seriously U.S. concerns about the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile technology.

But he is worried by the saber-rattling from Moscow about the missile shield and is seeking a deeper security relationship with the United States, saying any deal to base the missile shield in Poland must make Warsaw more secure.

Poland's Defense Minister Bogdan Klich, who visited Washington earlier this month, has already suggested that Washington should bolster Polish air defenses with new short- and medium-range systems like the Patriot missile in exchange for Warsaw's missile shield cooperation.

Sikorski on Thursday raised the prospect of a NATO base in Poland as another item on Poland's wish list, while adding that "We're not wedded to any particular technical solution."

"We believe that NATO infrastructure, defense infrastructure, should be more or less evenly spread over its territory. And at the moment it certainly is not," Sikorski told Reuters.

When it was suggested that the U.S.-proposed missile shield would constitute a military installation, Sikorski responded: "It's proposed in a very remote part of Poland, and, it would be, as you know, quite small. It wouldn't be like the kinds of bases that are in Britain, or Germany, or Italy or Turkey."

"The prospect of American troops on our soil ... is something that we would welcome."

Poland is the biggest ex-communist member of NATO and has been an important ally for the United States following the September 11 attacks, sending troops to Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. missile shield plan has angered Moscow, which says such a system close to its borders would pose a threat to Russian national security. Russia has also warned it will take unspecified "tangible" measures if construction begins on the missile system's infrastructure.

Washington insists the proposed missile shield poses no threat to Moscow.

Sikorski arrived on Wednesday for a round of meetings and has already seen national security adviser Stephen Hadley and Vice President Dick Cheney. He meets Rice on Friday.

Earlier on Thursday, he used the word "blackmail" to describe the pressure Poland has been under to ditch the plan.

"As many of you know, Poland has come under political pressure, and has even been blackmailed by some of our neighbors, who fiercely oppose this project," Sikorski said at the American Enterprise Institute think tank.

The head of the new center-right Polish government, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, is expected to visit Washington next month. Sikorski said, however, that it's "up to the United States" how quickly a deal is reached on the missile shield.

In any case he believed it would be difficult to start building a shield in Poland this year, given a condition passed by the Democratic-controlled U.S. Congress that the Polish parliament ratify the agreement before the project goes ahead.

Sikorski said he had learned of that condition on Thursday in a visit with California Democrat Rep. Ellen Tauscher, who chairs the House of Representatives strategic forces subcommittee. "That puts an additional time constraint. We would really have to rush now, to get this thing done this year."


Always count on the Poles to stick it to the Russians.
User avatar
By Maxim Litvinov
#1441225
Umm... this isn't the Poles, this is their conservative government.

You can actually count on the Poles and Czechs, despite their hatred of Russians, to go out and protest against Bush over this plan - as evidence by the demonstrations we've all seen.
User avatar
By The Antiist
#1441257
I'd wish for the U.S. to just drop the whole thing. There's almost next to nothing at stake here with concern to Iran and meanwhile they're pissing of a nuclear giant. Or maybe I'm just blind and this whole project is indeed focused on security against Russia, not Iran.

Image

...or maybe Putin is just bluffing when he openly defends Russia's missile tests as a response to U.S. behavior. There's probably some theatrics involved there. I suspect it's partly an attempt for a cheap populist-like display to be so bluntly anti-western--a remanifestation of old Russian identity.
By Piano Red
#1441280
Umm... this isn't the Poles, this is their conservative government.


Yeah that's right Max, damn that Polish govt. for wanting to safeguard the lives of their citizens by hosting bases on their own soil.

You can actually count on the Poles and Czechs, despite their hatred of Russians, to go out and protest against Bush over this plan - as evidence by the demonstrations we've all seen.


And we've also seen how effective they've been too.

Frankly I could care less if a few fringe groups protest, it's their democratic right, but it's not going to change a thing.
User avatar
By Maxim Litvinov
#1441287
You are clearly ignorant of the public opinion in these countries.

Both Poland and the Czech Republic are supposed to be democratic and, as such, respond to the public's wishes. You may applaud this anti-democratic decision. I do not.

According to a survey conducted in Poland in early February [2007], 55 percent of the Polish people oppose the deployment while only 28 percent support it. A subsequent poll by the CBOS agency, a leading Polish public opinion research organization, confirmed this opposition, with 56 percent responding negatively to a question on their views regarding hosting U.S. BMD interceptors. The most recent poll, published on March 19, 2007, found that 51 percent of the respondents definitely oppose the base and 28 percent would prefer not to host it. Only 30 percent support the proposed deployment of the BMD interceptors, with a mere 8 percent “definitely” backing it.
The opposition is even more obvious in the Czech Republic:

In the Czech Republic, concern about the possibility of losing a referendum on the U.S. radar base led the government parties in mid-March to vote in the Czech legislature against holding a ballot on the BMD issue. An early March poll by the Center for Public Opinion Research (CVVM) found that 61 percent of the respondents opposed the proposed U.S. BMD radar base and 73 percent wanted the government to hold a referendum on the issue. Another early March survey conducted by the STEM agency, a second respected Czech polling firm, found that 70 percent of Czech respondents objected to the radar.
User avatar
By W01f
#1441290
for wanting to safeguard the lives of their citizens


Come on now..You honestly believe that this missile defense system will ever save a single life?

According to polls, only 28% of poles actually support it. It would be nice if their government acted in the best interest of what their citizens wanted. You know, like a real democracy?

http://www.huliq.com/32024/citizens-of- ... fense-base
Last edited by W01f on 02 Feb 2008 01:54, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Oxymoron
#1441292
what their citizens wanted.


Like Kids the Masses need not be appeased all the time or they become spoiled.
User avatar
By W01f
#1441293
Like Kids the Masses need not be appeased all the time or they become spoiled.


You may want to consider moving to China.
By Piano Red
#1441316
You are clearly ignorant of the public opinion in these countries.

Both Poland and the Czech Republic are supposed to be democratic and, as such, respond to the public's wishes.


No i'm not, I just fail to see how that public opinion has translated/resonated with altering either the Polish or Czech government's policies and plans regarding the ABM systems.

Expanding on the Polish issue specifically, AFAIK there isn't a single Polish political party in their Parliament that isn't for the installation of the ABM site.

You may applaud this anti-democratic decision. I do not.


The issue of whether it is democratic or not is irrelevant to me.

The domestic politics that determine the Polish government somehow going against the wishes of their own people (the same government that was so recently elected mind you) is something best left for them to solve.

Until then, the US will continue to move forward with installing the first of the ABM sites. Much to the detriment of the Russians who'll try to grandstand over the issue.

That's all that matters IMO.

Come on now..You honestly believe that this missile defense system will ever save a single life?


Yes.

It would also help if you guys could get more up to date information on the subject. The government in both of the articles you quoted was given the boot last year.
By keso
#1441369
Like Kids the Masses need not be appeased all the time or they become spoiled.



So much for your belief in "democracy."
User avatar
By Oxymoron
#1441370
So much for your belief in "democracy


I dont believe in Democracy I believe in representative form of goverment where the populace cannot change policy at a whim.
By AmericanPatriot
#1441409
What's so bad about missle defense? Any thing to avoid a missle crisis, I'm all for it. And Oxy is right, the public should not be able to change legislation in an instant. It is supposed to be very hard to do for a reason...
User avatar
By Maxim Litvinov
#1441417
No i'm not

You were earlier trying to claim the anti-missile-defence feeling was 'a few fringe groups'. In fact, as we've pointed out, it's two thirds of each country.

just fail to see how that public opinion has translated/resonated with altering either the Polish or Czech government's policies

Umm... isn't this the point? The Polish and Czech people oppose these systems which is why any move to install them is anti-democratic.

As I said at the start, if this is a case of 'sticking it to the Russians', it's just as much a case of sticking it to the good people of Poland and the Czech Republic, who are opposed to this move. But some people never find anti-democratic or military moves regrettable and will want to carry on regardless: those who run industries of death and their naive hangers-on.
By Piano Red
#1441448
You were earlier trying to claim the anti-missile-defence feeling was 'a few fringe groups'. In fact, as we've pointed out, it's two thirds of each country.


Yet AFAIK none of that dissension in the public (if those pre-Election polls are still accurate) has yet to translate politically. As I said, AFAIK none of the Polish political parties in their legislature is against the ABM installation.

Umm... isn't this the point? The Polish and Czech people oppose these systems which is why any move to install them is anti-democratic.


If they truly don't approve then they can take to the streets and riot then, or (as an alternative) simply vote a new government into power. Until that happens then this supposed virulence against the ABM site that you portray has yet to manifest itself outside of statistics and numbers.

As I said at the start, if this is a case of 'sticking it to the Russians', it's just as much a case of sticking it to the good people of Poland and the Czech Republic, who are opposed to this move.


Based on out of date information that i'm largely just giving you the benefit of doubt on. The government that just agreed to this deal only came into power a few months ago IIRC.
User avatar
By Maxim Litvinov
#1441454
If they truly don't approve then they can take to the streets and riot then, or (as an alternative) simply vote a new government into power.

Sure, Piano Red. Obviously if the government doesn't dissolve in a coup then clearly the people are supportive enough for the legislation being enacted. Obviously your 'standard' of what is acceptable to the people has to then be applied to hundreds of other regimes throughout the last century then though... So perhaps we could say that the ABM system is at least as democratic as Jaruzelski?

Based on out of date information that i'm largely just giving you the benefit of doubt on

You have to accept the figures really - they are the latest figures anyone can produce and have come as a result of research of a number of disconnected, independent agencies. We've got no reason to accept there's any merit to your fatuous attempt at hinting the figures have changed though: they were about the ABM system and are less than 12 months old.
User avatar
By C-Kokos
#1441558
It is quite clear that Piano Red does not care about the popular will of any nation. He is like FRS in that sense; what is good for a nation is what is according to the military interests of the US. FRS is of course honest about it while Piano Red somehow tries to imply that because a bunch of corrupt bureaucrats ignore the will of the masses without being taken to the streets and lynched, then what they are doing is popular.

This is of course quite amusing as it is a perfect reflection of Piano Red's politics: "I liek b0mbs a l0t! Lulz!. Military geekdom is not particularly different to other kinds of geekdom it seems. At least acknowledge it already for fuck's sake. Why write "count on the Poles to stick it to the Russians" instead of "We gotz more bases YAY!!!11!"
User avatar
By redcarpet
#1441564
Absurd. I doubt Russian politicians want to wipe out Poles; more like sell them oil and gas at spiked prices and cut production if noises emerge from Warsaw.

Putin had his missile tests and so on so he's the one being provocative; it's his fault.
By Shade2
#1441575
People might say that they don't want Missile Bases in Polls but its not really a issue here. It is just something you get in the polls, while there is no party or movement significant to oppose this. While people might not like it when asked, they don't seem to care enough to protest. Largest demonstrations gathere 200 to 400 people.

Of course that's regarding a Missile Base, NATO bases are something different and looked forward to, since it is expected they will bring income to local people, and since we are NATO country why shouldn't there be a NATO base here ?

As to Russia-since this is for defense its obvious Russia dreams of one day reconquering Central Europe. The path of conquest and exploitation of others is the only way Russia is capable of seeing as means of developing itself. It's no wonder then, that the people of Central Europe wish to protect themselfs from this imperalistic country.
User avatar
By redcarpet
#1441582
Poles surely care; they just aren't politically active enough to stop this. It's not 'apathy; it's cowardice.
By Shade2
#1441587
It's not 'apathy; it's cowardice.

No its simply nobody wants conflict, but realises that serving Russia's interest to have Poland defencless against its imperialism is worse.

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