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Ian Brzezinski, Atlantic Council think tank expert: Russia will still be a threat

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According to Ian Brzezinski, a former high-ranking Pentagon official, now an analyst at the Atlantic Council think-tank, Russia will be weakened as a result of a military invasion of Ukraine, but it will still be a threat in the medium and long term. Brzezinski, brother of the US ambassador in Warsaw, also assessed that Poland, by strengthening its investment in defense and modernization, confirmed its status as a serious and responsible member of NATO.

According to Brzezinski, currently an expert at the Atlantic Council think-tank, 2022 brought a fundamental strategic change in the approach to security and Russia for Western Europe and USA.

– 2022 was the year in which the West saw, after many years of warnings from Poland and the region, that we have a very acute and urgent threat coming from Russia. And despite these warnings, until then, the West had not really come up with the right approach to responding to them, the analyst says.


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At the same time, Brzezinski noted that in some cases this change has not been fully implemented, pointing to Germanywhich, despite significant declarations about the “Zeitenwende”, noticing the short-sightedness of the previously conducted policy, have not yet implemented the announcements “in a fully mature and irreversible way”.

– Nevertheless, if I were an adviser to the Polish government, I would encourage it to seek agreement with Germany in this regard, to seek areas of cooperation to strengthen the eastern flank, to give an impulse to the implementation of the “Zeitenwende”. Taking an antagonistic approach won’t help.

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Confirmed status

According to Brzezinski, by strengthening investments in defense and modernization, Poland confirmed its status as a serious and responsible member FOR THIS. He added that one of the main factors when purchasing equipment for the military should be adaptation to “new battlefield conditions that allied armed forces will face in the near future.”

“The idea is not only to choose abilities with a good level of survivability, but also ones that are easy to maintain, not only in peacetime but also in war,” says the analyst. According to him, good choices in this regard were, among others, purchases of HIMARS rocket artillery systems, F-35 aircraft or Patriot air defense missiles, which will facilitate the interoperability of forces within NATO.

American Patriot air defense systemsU.S. Army

Brzezinski admits that despite the increased presence of US troops in Europe, there are discussions in Washington as to how much the US can afford to maintain a large contingent on the continent in the face of the main threat, which is China.

“Division of labour” between the US and Europe

– We have an increasingly popular theory that talks about the “division of labor” between the US and Europe, that Europe, being a $17-18 trillion economy, should be able to cope with the threat from Russia, which has a $1.5 trillion economy says Brzezinski. As he points out, he himself does not agree with this approach, because he considers it a recipe for breaking the ties of America and Europe. He adds that although Russia will be weakened as a result of the war, it will still be a threat in the medium and long term.

– I believe that if Europe wants America to remain firmly committed on the continent, it should consider what it can contribute to defending the interests of the alliance in the Indo-Pacific. This does not mean a huge force presence, but sufficient capabilities to show that it is committed to the common security of this region and to deterring Chinese aggression, Brzezinski argues. He adds that it also applies to Poland, which is growing into a significant military power in Europe.

– This is not about large units, but, for example, regularly stationing planes or special forces. Because in the United States there is an expectation that if we want them to deploy forces on the territory of, for example, Poland, then Poland should be involved in the defense of transatlantic interests and operations also outside Europe – says the expert.

Main photo source: the Prime Minister’s Office

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