Obama, the Stagnation
on the Polish Front
By Andrzej Talaga
Translated By Michał Bolek
7 November 2012
Edited by Victoria Denholm
Poland - Rzeczpospolita - Original Article (Polish)
Barack Obama won the presidential election in the U.S. This is not a tragedy for Poland; however, we can expect nothing but the current stagnation in Polish-American relations.
Mitt Romney gave us more hope, at least in his speeches, but he lost. Obama’s powerlessness when it comes to Poland is, unfortunately, widespread. We find this in things as important as security and as trivial, though symbolic, as visas for Poles.
In relation to security, Poland is worse off. According to the new security doctrine of the U.S. announced by Obama, America is transferring forces and resources to the Pacific region. Two battle brigades of the U.S. Army will disappear from Europe. The land forces that remain won’t be able to effectively support any NATO ally that could possibly be attacked, for example Poland. As if that wasn’t enough, Obama also announced cuts in armaments expenditure. Now he’ll surely keep his word.
Romney found Russia to be a strategic opponent of the U.S. He toned down his position later, but Obama didn’t have anything to tone down. Poland’s neighbor is just a regional power for him; this is located low down on the list of American problems. For Obama our region does not contain any serious problems, apart from Syria, but Washington doesn’t have any serious intention of intervening just there.
Therefore, we shouldn’t count on any U.S. support in disputes with Russia, for instance in the investigation concerning 2010 Polish Air Force Tu-154 crash or in the Polish attempts to keep post-Soviet Intermarium countries out of the Russian sphere of influence. These illusions are over; Intermarium doesn’t exist in American politics and won’t become an even very distant priority.
The Republican advisory centers suggested a stronger alliance between the U.S. and Poland and a transfer of American technologies to the country on the Vistula [Poland’s largest river]. Such demands weren’t in Romney’s official election program, but we could have tried to play with Polish sympathies for America in the case of his victory — this time in order to benefit us. However, this is now impossible.
There was Obama, there is Obama. Somehow we’ll have to live with this.
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