“NATO:1949-1999-2019. 20 Years of Poland in the 70 Years of the Alliance” presentation in Washington DC

This time the publication “NATO:1949-1999-2019. 20 Years of Poland in the 70 Years of the Alliance” – which was created within the framework of the project of the same name, which was created with the financial support of the Public and Cultural Diplomacy Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland  within the framework of the Public Diplomacy 2019 competition – crossed the Ocean. On November 13th, at the headquarters of our American partner, the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), a debate was held on the anniversary of Poland’s accession to NATO, as well as general issues of security and Euro-Atlantic relations.

The authors of some of the articles in the publication took part in the debate: Kinga Redłowska, Program Director at the Institute for Eastern Studies, Donald Jensen, CEPA Editor-in-Chief, Liudas Zdanavicius, Research Fellow at the General Jonas Žemaitis Military Academy.

Kinga Redłowska presented the project and the publication, which stands out for its thematic diversity and covers almost the entire NATO area. She mentioned that since the end of the Cold War Poland wanted to become a member of NATO. The fulfilment of this dream brought not only many changes on the geopolitical map of Europe, but also many visions of ensuring the security of Poland. Of course, we cannot talk about these issues without raising the subject of the European Union’s security policy. She also pointed to populism as the main threat to the strengthening of NATO’s position. As we all know, every Alliance is as strong as its members, so an important aspect (and one of the cores) of the Alliance is Solidarity – a very “Polish” feature. That is why Poland is trying to strongly emphasize its support for NATO and the fact that it is an ideal partner for cooperation with the USA.

Liudas Zdanavicius presented the perspective of the Baltic States. After 2014, Russia has again become the absolute number one in terms of threats in Europe. Its advantage is visible in three main accents: military potential and determination and speed of military action. This is why it is important that the Baltic States and other member states of the Alliance are able to send Russia an appropriate response: NATO and other formats of defence cooperation in the event of a military attack will be able to react and respond quickly and smoothly. He also pointed out that the so-called defence cooperation formats, despite their drawbacks, have many advantages, such as common training programmes, exchange of information and technology, etc.

Donald Jensen, who was also a moderator of the discussion, raised the issue of differences in the strategic culture of Russia, which is significantly different from that of the rest of the world. At the beginning of the 1990s, Russia saw NATO as a cooperation partner, but then the situation changed completely. The moderator also wondered what role the United States should play in future transatlantic relations.

Our publication is available for download HERE.