Security cooperation or domination? : the decay of the US--Polish bilaterial security relationship




Breding, Chris Ian, 1977-

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The paper addresses the international political consequences the US and Poland have faced and will face due to the exclusive US-Polish bilateral security relationship that emerged after Poland’s accession to NATO. The study argues that the foreign policy actions taken by the US and Poland, coupled with fallout from the burgeoning US-Polish military-industrial complex, have led to a state of bilateral decay. The state of decay was precipitated by bilateral security failures, Poland’s accession to the EU, and systemic political and economic influences. The text presents an analysis of the historical, cultural, and geopolitical precedents that make US-Polish security bilateralism unique. Next, it examines recent US-Polish joint international military operations, weapons systems sales, and foreign policy decisions. Specific theaters analyzed include Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Defense industry and weapons sales case studies include the Lockheed-Martin F-16 sale, AMGeneral Humvees, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation’s buyout of PZL Mielec. The paper also contains an examination of the way the US-Polish bilateral security relationship has disrupted foreign policy cohesion among EU member states and impeded the development of the European Security and Defense Policy. Lastly, human nature and world-system processes are scrutinized to unravel immanent forces that have contributed to the state of bilateral decay. In the final analysis, Poland is depicted as an irrational actor that is torn between the conflicting policy choices of a modern US and postmodern EU; and mired in a struggle to find a national defense identity. The work concludes with the reflection that the only way to favorably affect international security is via deeper institutional integration and foreign policy harmonization in a singular, multilateral Euroatlantic security alliance.


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