Zbigniew Brzezinski told Polish Radio today that a decision on the Polish-American anti-missile defense project will probably be delayed under the new Obama administration.
According to the former National Security adviser under President Carter, the continuation of the program under President Barack Obama will be dependent upon a myriad of factors - including overcoming skepticism that many Congressmen hold on the issue. As well, the financial crisis has limited government expenditures, so it is uncertain whether legislators will fund such a project.
Brzezinski highlighted the fact that the new administration will be weighing up measures to be taken on the US's relationship with Russia. The professor claims that to-date relations with Russia have been aggressive - pushing the anti-missile defense system is one such example of aggressive policy measures.
However, Brzezinski told Polish Radio that there are no other options than aggression when dealing with Moscow. The new secretary of state, Hilary Clinton, has mentioned that foreign policy coming out of Washington will now be characterized as 'Smart Power', and this will have ramifications for Poland's relations with its eastern partner and its place within Nato.
Poland does not have any realistic options other than to calmly wait for Washington to decide how they will deal with the defense project, a leftover from the presidency of George W. Bush.
Warsaw and Washington signed the anti-missile shield agreement in August last year. President Obama said during the long election campaign that he will have to access the reliability of the system before recommending a go ahead. Several tests of the system have failed, so the assessment will have to be made on a cost-benefit analysis at a time of economic recession. How to rebuilding Russian-American relations will also be a factor in the decision.
Ambassadors of 26 countries from Nato will have an informal meeting with and Russia's permanent representative to NATO Dmitry Rogozin, Monday. They will discuss the anti-missile shield and the situation in South Ossetia.
Alexandr Vondra, the Czech republic's deputy minister for European affairs, told a television audience, Monday, that Russia should be consulted on the stationing of the missiles in Poland and the radar in the czech republic but Moscow should not have the right to veto decsions taken by Nato.