Tuesday, June 3, 2014

the last book I ever read (Duty by Robert M. Gates, excerpt four)

from Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War by Robert M. Gates:

I was convinced the Russians would never embrace any kind of missile defense in Europe because they could see it only as a potential threat to themselves. What I hadn’t counted on was the political opposition to the missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. As early as January 2008, the new Polish center-right government led by Prime Minister Donald Tusk made clear they would not consider hosting the interceptors unless the United States agreed to an accompanying defense package of shorter-range missile defenses for Poland and made a greater commitment to come to Poland’s aid than provided under the NATO charter. In June 2008, Polish defense minister Bogdan Klich told me that to bring the negotiations to closure, it would be “important for President Bush to make a political declaration and commitment of assistance to Poland similar to those the United States provided to Jordan and Pakistan.” For their part, the Czechs were making demands about bidding on our contracts associated with site construction and also letting us know that U.S. companies and citizens working on the project would be subject to Czech taxes. Our presumptive partners for missile defense in Europe were stiff-arming us.

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