The Obama Administration managed to open a wide gap with some of America’s most reliable allies, those of Central Europe.
In the recent Open Letter to the Obama Administration from Central and Eastern Europe, some of the most magnificent freedom fighters of the region, including former presidents Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic and Lech Walesa of Poland, to mention just a few, have warned that the U.S. should not take their countries and peoples for granted.
Authors of the Open Letter, the most pro-American politicians and intellectuals, are warning that NATO is perceived as becoming weaker, while the European Union is spreading its bureaucratic umbrella over the continent.
Being a pro-Atlantic voice in Europe is getting more difficult, while Russian clout, corruption, and military ambition are on the rise.
The authors hope that the West’s relationship with Moscow will improve; however, they believe that Russia is a revisionist power pursuing a 19th-century agenda with 21st-century tactics and methods. Moscow is challenging Eastern European claims for their own historic experiences. It asserts a privileged position in determining their security choices.
A strong commitment to common liberal democratic values is vital to pursue a transatlantic relationship, the authors say.
The Obama Administration, therefore, needs to strengthen its ties with our European allies, including a revitalized NATO. The Alliance needs to provide a strategic reassurance to all its members, including in Central Europe and the Baltic States.
The allies need to elaborate a unified position in the face of a resurgent Russia.
Finally, the U.S. and Europe need to agree on and deploy missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic, as this has become a real test of U.S. reliability as an ally.
The Administration needs to heed this warning. True American allies are speaking. The future and the credibility of the United States in the vital defense theater – Europe – and vis-à-vis Russia is at stake.