Ifri’s Security Studies Center has just published the issue #48 of its Proliferation Papers series entitled:
Poland and Ballistic Missile Defense: The Limits of Atlanticism
Łukasz Kulesa is the Head of the Non-proliferation and Arms Control Project at the Polish Institute of International Affairs (PISM). Since 2003 he has been working on the issues of international security at the Polish Institute of International Affairs, focusing on non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, proliferation crises (North Korea, Iran), perspectives for nuclear disarmament, Russian security policy, nuclear and conventional deterrence, the role of missile defence, and the future of arms control systems. In 2010-2012 he was working as Deputy Director of the Strategic Analyses Department at the National Security Bureau, a body providing aid and support to the President of the Republic of Poland in executing security and defence tasks. Mr. Kulesa is a graduate of the Law Department of the Jagiellonian University (Cracow). He holds a Master of Arts degree in International Relations and European Studies from the Central European University (Budapest).
His new Proliferation Paper can be downloaded here.
Since Poland first expressed its willingness to host a critical part of the US Ballistic Missile Defense architecture, in 2002, the program has undergone several setbacks. Today, while Poland is still expected to host key elements of the US BMD capabilities, contributing to NATO’s territorial defense against ballistic missile threats, Warsaw does not enjoy the kind of special bilateral relationship that it was trying to secure with Washington. Domestic politics, changing threat assessments, the US ‘reset’ policy vis-à-vis Russia and the latter’s critics of BMD’s destabilizing character all contributed to this change, which, in turn, had strong consequences for Poland’s strategic posture. It sparked the recent Polish decision to acquire national air and missile defense capabilities, both as a strategic asset for the country’s own deterrence posture and as a national contribution to the NATO BMD system. It also influenced Poland’s attempt to reconcile its long-term national interests and threat perception with BMD’s greater role within the Alliance, both by emphasizing NATO’s collective defense mission and by ensuring that nuclear weapons would remain at the heart of NATO’s deterrence posture.
Poland in the US and NATO BMD Systems
Air and Missile Defense Capabilities for the Polish Armed Forces
BMD’s Strategic Challenges for Poland