In a recent interview with Poland's conservative weekly, Gazeta Polska [Polish Gazette], Gen. Walter Jajko commented on several important aspects of the current global geopolitical situation.
The General-who teaches a course on the theorists of military strategy at IWP-stated that post-Soviet Russia's influence and prestige on the international arena is rising while America's is waning. This is neither inevitable nor irreversible, he argues, but the product of leadership failure in Washington.
For instance, the current administration has demonstrated a lack of resolve on the issue of Syria. Vladimir Putin recognized Obama's weakness and cunningly capitalized on it.
The former KGB officer has also taken advantage of the "reset" policy-which entails at least a partial disinterest in the former "captive nations" in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the Caucasus-to pursue the reintegration of the former Soviet Bloc, i.e. the so-called "near abroad." For instance, Moscow essentially humiliated Warsaw following the highly suspicious Smolensk Plane Crash of 10 April 2010-which killed many among Poland's patriotic and pro-Western leadership, including the presidential couple. The fact that the politicians who have governed Poland during the past few years have accepted Putin's so-called "investigation" as an example of Russian good will, Gen. Jajko points out, demonstrates the enduring influence of the pro-Russian, post-communist agentura.
Poland and other former "captive nations" must thus de-communize their political systems if they are to successfully counter the Kremlin's pressure. And American policy-makers should come to understand these phenomena of the international landscape.
To read the Polish-language interview, please see the Gazeta Polska website.
Note: The views expressed by Gen. Walter Jajko USAF Ret. are purely his own, and do not necessarily reflect those of IWP or the US Department of Defense.