Issue Briefs

Putin’s Ukraine Invasion Makes Poland The Linchpin Of U.S. Military Plans In Europe (From Forbes)

Putin’s Ukraine Invasion Makes Poland The Linchpin Of U.S. Military Plans In Europe (From Forbes)

Loren B. Thompson

February 25th, 2022

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.

The views and opinions expressed in this issue brief are those of the author.

Loren B. Thompson is a Senior Adviser at GPI, Chief Operating Officer of the non-profit Lexington Institute and Chief Executive Officer of Source Associates, a for-profit consultancy. Prior to holding his present positions, he was Deputy Director of the Security Studies Program at Georgetown University and taught graduate-level courses in strategy, technology and media affairs at Georgetown. He has also taught at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Thompson holds doctoral and masters degrees in government from Georgetown University and a bachelor of science degree in political science from Northeastern