With Russian dominance of Belarus and Ukraine now a foregone conclusion, Poland is poised to become pivotal to U.S. military plans in Europe. Like Taiwan in the east, Poland’s loss to the West would be a turning point with profound implications for America and its allies. But if Vladimir Putin is intent on enforcing his demands against NATO, then the possibility of a future military campaign against the Polish state cannot be discounted. Fortunately, Poland has the population, material wherewithal and cultural unity to defend its territory in any conflict that does not escalate to the nuclear level. On the other hand, it needs to accelerate modernization of its armed forces through purchase of weapons like the F-35 fighter and Abrams tank. Warsaw will still need the presence of U.S. troops to serve as a tripwire deterring Russian aggression, but Poland can be equipped to provide the preponderance of its defensive needs. That’s a good thing, because the country now looks indispensable to the defense of the West. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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