In Poland, the Americans have been one of the most popular nations. Many Poles reflexively attach positive connotations to the United States. It is enough to remember the gratitude of most of them for having facilitated Poland’s accession to NATO. Before 1989, the Poles hoped that “America” would help them shake off the Soviet yoke. They have admired the power and prosperity of the US. That means that Poland possesses a formidable pro-American potential.
We would like to consider here the future of Polish-American relations. Given Poland’s pro-American orientation, we would like to argue for a so-called special relationship between Poland and the US. This special relationship would be akin to that enjoyed by Ireland and, especially, Israel in their dealings with Washington, DC. After all, since the US is guarantor of Israel’s freedom, security, and prosperity, why shouldn’t it be Poland’s? To achieve that aim, brainstorming and debating should commence forthwith.
Why a debate?
The current public debate in Poland focuses almost exclusively on the integration with the European Union (EU). Most problems are seen through the prism of the integration. But the question of Poland’s special relationship with the US is usually overlooked. Why indeed broaden the field of the debate?
Politicians in a democratic country should act in the interest of the voters. The interest of the citizens is clear: freedom, security, and prosperity. In their particular activities politicians should follow precisely those general directives. That means that politicians, both privately and publicly, should consider every single course of action in every particular problem, especially that of utmost importance for the state and citizens. Only following a thorough review of the alternatives, do we pick the best option. By the best, we mean one that serves our interest and inclinations best. The same mechanism applies in politics, private life, and economy. After all, before we buy a car, we scrutinize different models. If we choose to buy on credit, we compare various financial options. We also inquire about what rights accrue to us under the warranty and the return policy. Finally, we ponder what color of a vehicle to pick.
We assume that Polish politicians have first and foremost the interest of the voters on their mind. Sadly, however, we must conclude that as far as the foreign policy of the Republic of Poland is concerned most politicians have not taken their duty to the voters seriously. At the moment, there is no multifaceted debate in Poland about its place in the world.
A reflexively Euroenthusiastic, nay Euroeuphoric option dominates among the elite. A loud Europhobic sentiment can be heard among the populists. The third option, Eurosceptical, is limited to the esoteric milieu of the libertarians and conservatives publishing in the weekly High Time (Najwyzszy Czas!). Notwithstanding our personal preferences – Euroenthusiastic, Europhobic, or Eurosceptic, the American aspect of Poland’s foreign policy should also be considered.
Our objective is to organize the foreign policy of Poland in such a manner that the United States becomes the guarantor of Polish freedom, security, and prosperity. Let us stress, we do not expect the US to perform Poland’s work for the Poles. We would like the US to guarantee that, through hard work and diligent effort, the Poles could maintain freedom, live in security, and tend to the economic reconstruction of their country.
What must we undertake to achieve this end? In other words, first, what kind of Poland would be agreeable to the United States? Second, what actions should Poland take to achieve a special relationship with the US? The trick is of course to change in such a manner as to secure American guarantees for the nation, while remaining faithful to the Polish historical tradition.