As Russia, in the words of a US official, delivers “bloodcurdling” threats in response to the Pentagon project in central Europe and unease spirals in Germany, there is also growing frustration in Warsaw and Prague with what is perceived as a high-handed approach by the US administration. “We want legal guarantees. I can’t go into details but it is to do with how the base is protected and also about the base agreement,” said a senior Czech official of the proposal for a radar base south-west of Prague. “Unfortunately the Americans could have done more to engage the Russians over the past year.”The Polish demands are more incendiary and are certain to confirm the Russian belief that in the long term the new US bases in central Europe are aimed at Russia. The US and Nato say such ideas are nonsense and that the 10 interceptor rockets to be stationed in Poland will be there to deter a missile attack from the Middle East, especially Iran.
The Poles are telling the Americans that they do not feel threatened by Iran, but they do feel vulnerable to Vladimir Putin’s Russia and need to build up their defences. Patriots would help to protect Poland from short-range and medium-range missile attack from Russia. If the Poles display their loyalty to the Americans by helping the US defend against attack from the Middle East, the Americans should beef up Polish defences against Russia, Warsaw argues.