The US secretary of defense has given assurances that Poland will receive defense aid
American Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Rzeczpospolita that if the threat from Iran disappeared there would be no need to base an anti-missile shield in Central Europe. This is another signal from Washington that if Russia puts pressure on Iran, then the US could withdraw from the shield.
The defense secretary said during the NATO summit in Kraków that the USA needs time to reach a final decision over the shield. Robert Gates is the only member of George Bush’s staff who kept his post after Barack Obama became president.
In Gates’ opinion the new administration stands better chances of convincing Russia to its point of view. Washington’s representative claimed that even if the US resigned from its shield plans in Poland, it would keep its promise to base Patriot missiles here.
“Within the next few weeks consultation teams for strategic cooperation will hold joint meetings,” said Gates. The main topic of the two-day NATO defense summit in Kraków was the mission in Afghanistan.
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“Manas is important,” Gates said, “but it is not irreplaceable.”
February 20, 2009
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