The Polish and Russian people have a long history of conflict. There has scarcely been a century that has not seen Russians and Poles at odds with one another. So, it is not a surprise that with the rise of a new Russia their Polish neighbors became nervous.
But, this nervousness has become fearfulness with the conflict in Crimea and Ukraine. Russian involvement has been evident throughout and the events have all shown themselves to benefit only one party; Russia.
And apparently, they are not the only one fearing a Russian invasion.
Polish leaders declared themselves alone no longer at a ceremony Saturday welcoming the arrival of U.S. troops as part of a deployment that has angered Russia.
The presence of U.S. troops on Polish soil marks a historic moment—the first time Western forces are being deployed on a continuous basis to bolster NATO’s eastern flank.
The American deployment includes an armored brigade of 3,500 American troops from Fort Carson, Colorado. It comes in reactions to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and its backing of separatist insurgents in Ukraine’s east.
These troops are another show of force by NATO as a warning against Russian plans to expand west. Their presence is to show Russia that America takes serious its commitment to defend their treaty partners.
“This is America’s most capable fighting force: a combat-ready, highly trained US armoured brigade, with our most advanced equipment and weaponry,” U.S. ambassador to Poland Paul James said at the ceremonies, according to an AFP report.
“This force embodies America’s iron-clad commitment to honor our NATO treaty obligation to defend our NATO allies.”
These forces will be spread very thin, even with their NATO counterparts filling a more significant role. If Russia chose to invade, these forces would have to rely heavily on Poland and their Baltic neighbors to hold off Russia until help arrived.
The likelihood of that is not good. In fact, these forces would probably prove to serve as little more than a speed bump in the face of a Russian attack.