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A New Nato Strategy In Eastern Europe


written by Matteo Lunni
Associazione Italiana Polonisti

Cold war coming back? Not exactly, but for sure it can be see a more aggressive NATO strategy in Eastern Europe, especially after Ukrainian internal conflict begin.
There's something historical in that, a process started  after Soviet Union breakdown with fisrt NATO enlargement to Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary (1999).
Moreover, at the sunrise of George W. Bush's Presidency, the proposal of building the space shield heated US-Russia relations.
“Partnership for peace”, signed in Pratica di Mare on may 28th 2002 between Russia and NATO, and Russian help against terrorism in Afghan and Iraqi wars brought a two years parenthesis of cooperation, early broken by new NATO enlargement to Romania, Bulgaria and, over all, Baltic Republics (2004), perceived as an affront by Kremlin.
Georgian war (2008) and, recently, a different approach on Middle-oriental and Ukrainian crisis changed the set.
While Russia fears NATO enlargement to Ukraine, Eastern EU Countries, as always in the history, fear Russian imperialism and to become a west-east conflict playground.
In this contest we can read decisions, taken by the Organization HQ or directly inspired by Washington, to enforcing ties with most faithful allies in the area, first of them Poland.
In order to demonstrate NATO attention to his eastern border, HQ organized military manoevres in Poland: is not he first time after polish entering in the Organization, but is the biggest, involving 2,100 soldiers from nine countries.
Nowadays they have a clear  strategic meaning: to demonstrate NATO's readiness to “defend all Allies against any threat in a changed security environment both to the east and the south of NATO's borders”, as said General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg.
The same reason inspires US decision to send destroyer "The USS Jason Dunham", which docks the port city of Gdynia.
The USS Jason Dunham counts among the U.S. Navy’s most advanced vessels. It carries SH-60 SeaHawk helicopters, SM-2 surface-to-air missiles, and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The vessel has been operating in the Baltic Sea, where it has been “working with allies and regional partners to enhance joint operational abilities and promote peace and stability in the Baltic region. The ship’s visit to Poland reaffirms the United States’ commitment to Poland’s security and NATO Article 5 responsibilities”, according to a US Embassy declaration.
US want to strength field defense too: Washington and Warsaw are discussing the deployment of American heavy weapons on Poland’s territory, but also in other countries in the region. In total, the Pentagon would supply 5,000 troops with resources including about 1,200 vehicles.
Poland too would play his role, reinforcing military defense, in particular sea one.
The Defense Ministry has started talks with the Polish Armaments Group (PGZ), a holding company set up by the Government to bring together 30 state owned defense industry companies, over the building of three coastal battle ships and three patrol battle ships.
For this reason Government will spend in modernizing its navy almost 3.9 billion euro over the next 10 years, launching design and construction of three units of destroyer ORP "Cormorant II".
In next years Polish strategic line will going on: in fact new Polish President Andrej Duda, in a interview released a few days before taking office, affirmed he is not in favor of a revolution in foreign policy, but there will be just a few corrections, some of them deep-going, especially on Ukraine talks, where Poland wish to participate at same level of Germany and France.
About NATO he hopes concrete decisions aimed at strengthening presence in Poland and in the whole Central-Eastern Europe, supporting Organization's new strategy.
Could this line break UE between pro and anti US, has happened in the firsts 2000, paralyzing one more time UE foreign policy? We'll see next months.


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