President Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday in Warsaw will have three distinct audiences: the people of Poland and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe who have been seeking reassurance from the U.S. since Russian President Vladimir Putin annexed Crimea; Mr. Putin himself, who will be listening for clues to the next U.S. moves; and Mr. Obama’s European counterparts, who don’t always share U.S. urgency concerning Ukraine’s current course.
Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel have all recently visited Warsaw and have stressed the durability of NATO’s Article 5 commitment, but many Poles and their neighbors view the Ukraine crisis as a direct threat to their national security–and worry about who would come to their aid if Mr. Putin sets his sights on NATO territory. Poland even requested that 10,000 U.S. combat troops be permanently stationed on its soil. (Neither NATO nor the United States has granted that request, which most NATO members believe would conflict with commitments the alliance made in the NATO-Russia Founding Act.
More from CNAS
CommentaryNo, Trump has not been ‘tough’ on Russia
The simple fact is that even harsh-looking sanctions have little impact when there’s zero political will to enforce them....
By Edward Fishman , James Lamond & Max Bergmann
PodcastProspects for Democracy in Belarus, with Judy Dempsey and Jonathan Katz
Judy Dempsey and Jonathan Katz join Andrea Kendall-Taylor and Jim Townsend to discuss the ongoing protests in Belarus and the country’s prospects for a democratic political tr...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend, Judy Dempsey & Jonathan Katz
CommentaryEnlisting NATO to Address the China Challenge
Moving forward, the DoD should enlist NATO in efforts to address the China challenge....
By Carisa Nietsche, Jim Townsend & Andrea Kendall-Taylor
CommentaryAddressing Deepening Russia-China Relations
Russia-China cooperation increases the challenge that each country poses to the United States....
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor & Jeffrey Edmonds