This one I simply have to report, since I blogged just a few days ago, and indeed, have done so repeatedly on this site, about the possible long-term realignment taking place between Germany (and hence continental Europe) and Russia. You'll recall that I outlined a scenario wherein the USA, killing two birds with one stone, would pander to European public opinion in Western Europe, and close some of its military bases there, and simply shift them eastward into the old "cordon sannitaire" created by the Versailles Treaty in eastern Europe, an ironic move in the year of the one hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of World War One. I have been suggesting that this move in particular would center upon Poland, uncomfortably sandwiched between the Russian colossus to the East, and the German one to the West, in a bit of chilling 1939/2014 deja vu.
Now, Poland's foreign minister, Mr. Radek Sikorski(an acquaintance of your author during his first year in Oxford), has weighed in on his real thoughts about the recent American guarantees to Poland:
Now, while pictures of an old acquaintance from Oxford days shaking hands with Ketchup Kerry are disconcerting in and of themselves (trust me here folks, Mr. Sikorski is far smarter than monotone and droning Ketchup Kerry would ever imagine to be), his remarks are worth pondering. As the article notes, Mr. Sikorski was one of the driving forces behind the request to the USA for troop deployments and basing in Poland, including the Patriot anti-missile defense systems. And as the article also reminds us, Poles suspect that Russian intelligence is behind the leaks of Mr. Sikorski's private remarks, another reminder that it is not only the NSA that eavesdrops on telephone calls, and a reminder that the idea that other great powers - France, Italy, Germany, the UK, Japan and the rest of the usual suspects - don't conduct electronic surveillance is absurd.
Sikorski's real concerns are revealed by these remarks:
According to Wprost, Sikorski is skeptical about the reliance of Poland, one of the staunchest allies of Washington in Eastern Europe, on American protection.
“The Polish-American alliance is not worth anything. It’s even damaging, because it creates a false sense of security in Poland,” Sikorski allegedly said.(Emphasis in the original)
The alliance, and the real nature of Mr. Sikorski's concerns are entirely understandable:
“Complete bullshit,” the tape purportedly records Sikorski as saying. “We will get a conflict with both Russians and Germans, and we’re going to think that everything is great, because we gave the Americans a blowjob. Suckers. Total suckers.”
Sikorski, in other words, knows his history all too well. Similar guarantees were given to Poland by both France and the United Kingdom in the summer of 1939, to no avail. And his concern is precisely the emerging slow realignment between Germany and Russia over the long term that I've been warning about here. Given the USA's other major geopolitical concerns - the emerging BRICSA entente and the growing Chinese threat and American pivot to the Pacific - Mr. Sikorski knows that the USA's presence in Poland will be a low priority and any basing a token effort at best. Given the USA's heavy hand on the geopolitical stage, one may even detect in his remarks the implication that Poland was faced with a "choice" between the devil and the deep sea. Perhaps he realizes, belatedly, that in choosing the devil, that Poland may have actually endangered rather than enhanced its security.
Any way one slices it, however, I for one, don't blame him for being skeptical. Perhaps, just perhaps, Warsaw might want to rethink things...
See you on the flip side...