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Strategic Posture Review: Poland

Tuesday, Aug. 25, 2009
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Since gaining its independence from the Soviet Union, Poland has looked to play an active role in the regional security environment. Two interrelated foreign policy spheres preoccupy Polish policymakers. First is the country's Atlanticism, incorporating NATO membership and a close relationship with the United States. Second is the country's European Union membership. Since having successfully acceded to NATO (1999) and the EU (2004), Poland has been expected to take up its share of the security and defense burden. In consideration of its new security responsibilities, the Polish armed forces as well as Polish security thinking are in need of transformation. But there is general, if not universal, support among Polish policymakers for the utilization of the country's armed forces as an instrument of Polish foreign policy. This, in combination with the Polish desire to be a "reliable ally," will result in Poland becoming a progressively more important security and defense player.

Since Poland regained independence after the fall of communism, the country has looked to play an active role in the regional security environment. Two interrelated foreign policy spheres preoccupy Polish policymakers in this regard. First is the country's Atlanticism, incorporating NATO membership and a close relationship with the United States. In particular, NATO's Article Five guarantee, which the Poles consider to be underwritten by the Americans, is of utmost importance to Polish security. Second is the country's European Union (EU) membership. Joining both institutions represented Poland's "return to Europe," and both were the main focus of Polish foreign policy in the 1990s and early 2000s. ...

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