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America’s Eastern Tier: Poland between NATO and United Europe

Source: Periphery, Vol. 8/9 (2002-2003): 4-12

Following the demise of the Soviet Union, the United States has remained the only superpower standing. Nonetheless, it faces several challenges including rogue, so-called “terrorist” states, a potentially menacing China, a broodingly resentful Russia, and a vexingly enigmatic European Union (EU). Although perfectly capable of defending its own territory, America’s foreign entanglements and commitments continuously require the US to cultivate reliable regional allies.

This paper considers Poland as an American friend complementing Great Britain on the Eastern flank of Europe. Against the backdrop of Poland’s membership in NATO and the nation’s impending access to United Europe, we shall explore the tensions accompanying the integration process and show how they reflect on the future of Polish-American affairs. In particular, we shall deal with three major Polish political forces, the Euroenthusiasts, Europhobes, and Euroskeptics. First, however, we shall describe briefly the historical background.

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