by Marta Cichocka
On Friday, April 5, 2019, the White House Historical Association, in Washington, D.C., hosted a panel discussion: “Poland, the U.S., & NATO: Confronting the Russian Threat.” This was one of the events in the Kuklinski Museum’s Discussion Series – “30 Years After the Fall of Communism in Europe”. The panelists, who presented their views on Poland’s role in deterring Kremlin revanchism were: Polish Senator and Secretary of State for International Dialogue Anna Maria Anders, retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Tom Cosentino, and the Founder and President of the Institute of World Politics Dr. John Lenczowski. A journalist who reports on international politics, Claudia Rosett, was moderator of the panel discussion.
General Tom Cosentino said that the threat of Russia never went away, but it just hibernated for a while. Now, Russia again can be seen in places where there is chaos, like Syria, or Venezuela. This is why it is necessary to show the Kremlin that NATO is not only monitoring global economy or peacekeeping, but fighting aggression.
Senator Anders made it clear that Poland is a good partner of the USA in Europe. Moreover, NATO and Poland are committed to confronting threat posed by Putin’s Russia.
Professor Lenczowski emphasized the key point that: Russian revanchism only can be challenged with state-of-the-art armed forces. Putin wants to do two things: take revenge for the collapse of the Soviet Empire by asserting control over the former Soviet space, and divide NATO member countries against themselves. America needs to work with our NATO partners to stop Putin’s disruptive project.
All of the panelists agreed that Russia is not the only a threat to Poland, the United States, and NATO. We must also be mindful of the following challenges to our security: cyber threats, energy, and the consequences of Brexit for the European Union.