Poland Presses US to Keep Missile Shield Pledge

Polish FM Cites Russian Missile 'Threat'

At a conference of world politicians yesterday, Polish Foreign Minister Radoslav Sikorski warned the United States not to abandon the Bush Administration’s pledge to place a missile base in the eastern European nation, saying Poland had taken “something of a political risk” in agreeing to it and “we hope we don’t regret our trust in the United States.”

The Obama Administration has been under increasing pressure to abandon the system, given the serious damage it has done to US-Russian relations and considering reports that the multi-billion dollar system probably wouldn’t work at any rate.

Yet perhaps the most telling aspect of the FM’s comments was that nowhere was Iran, the ostensible “threat” the defense shield was directed at, mentioned. Instead, Sikorski cited the threat of Russian medium range missiles. The United States had attempted to persuade Russia that the base was targeted at Iran, in spite of being far outside the maximum range of Iran’s best missiles. It seems Poland views it the same way Russia does: as a direct deployment against Russia near its western border.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.