De-Escalation Off: US Deploys Troops To Poland
So what part of "All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions," did the US not understand when they decided that deploying troops to Poland was in keeping with the four-party deal? As WaPo reports, Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine.
Polish minister: U.S. troops are being deployed to Poland. http://t.co/42sifm1GsK
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) April 18, 2014
Poland and the United States will announce next week the deployment of U.S. ground forces to Poland as part of an expansion of NATO presence in Central and Eastern Europe in response to events in Ukraine.
That was the word from Poland’s defense minister, Tomasz Siemoniak, who visited The Post Friday after meeting with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Thursday.
Siemoniak said the decision has been made on a political level and that military planners are working out details.
There will also be intensified cooperation in air defense, special forces, cyberdefense and other areas. Poland will play a leading regional role, “under U.S. patronage,” he said.
So is that an escalation? or a de-escalation? or is it different when the US moves troops towards another nation's borders?
As a reminder, we noted in December, Russia's placement of tactical nuclear-capable weapons near the Polish border which at the time sent a very clear message of escalation (despite the, at the time, lack of New Cold War headlines). We wrote at the time,
Russia quietly has come through on its threat issued in April 2012, when it warned it would deploy Iskander missiles that could target US missile defense systems in Poland. From RIA at the time:
Moscow reiterated on Tuesday it may deploy Iskander theater ballistic missiles in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad that will be capable of effectively engaging elements of the U.S. missile defense system in Poland.
NATO members agreed to create a missile shield over Europe to protect it against ballistic missiles launched by so-called rogue states, for example Iran and North Korea, at a summit in Lisbon, Portugal, in 2010.
The missile defense system in Poland does not jeopardize Russia’s nuclear forces, Army General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, said.
“However, if it is modernized…it could affect our nuclear capability and in that case a political decision may be made to deploy Iskander systems in the Kaliningrad region,” he said in an interview with RT television.
“But that will be a political decision,” he stressed. “So far there is no such need.”
Looks like a little over a year later, the "political decision" was taken as the need is there. But why does Russia need to send a very clear message of escalation at a time when the Cold War is long over, when globalization and free trade, promote game theoretic world peace (or "piece" as the Obama administration wouldsay), oh, and when Russia quietly has decided to reestablish the former USSR starting with the Ukraine.
We'll leave the rhetorical question logically unanswered.
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