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Poland - NATO Membership

On March 12, 1999, Poland became a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as part of the first wave of enlargement outlined at the July 1997 NATO Summit in Madrid. Poland's top national security goal is to further integrate with NATO and other West European defense, economic, and political institutions while modernizing and reorganizing its military. Polish military doctrine reflects the same defense posture as its Alliance partners.

For ten years of membership in NATO, Poland has proven to be a reliable ally. In addition to increased security and political benefits, NATO membership has also brought investments of the Alliance in Poland's defensive infrastructure. Polish soldiers take part in numerous missions of the Alliance, often paying the highest price. At the end of this January 2009, nearly two thousand Polish soldiers participated in various NATO operations.

Poland is in favor of ensuring balance among tasks arising out of Art. 5 of the Treaty of Washington, which refers to mutual defence of allies in their territory and external missions of the Alliance. Poland supports the policy of the 'open door' to the Alliance, which it benefited from. Poland would also like the stabilisation missions in which Polish soldiers participate to better reflect priorities of the Polish international policy. Poland is forced to resign from some foreign military missions under the pressure of the economic crisis. To underline Poland's responsibility as an ally, Poland will not exchange participation in harder missions for easier ones. On the contrary, by resigning from easier missions, Poland is increasing involvement in harder missions, such as the most important NATO operation in Afghanistan.

The NATO mission in Afghanistan is a priority to Poland, since the credibility of the Alliance is at stake. The goal of allied actions is to reinforce the role of the Afghan authorities in the process of stabilisation and reconstruction and to prevent this country from becoming a terrorist base again. The Polish involvement has been manifested through an increase in the number of soldiers who participated in the operation in 2008. Assumption of responsibility for the Ghazni Province has made Polish contribution more visible and allowed us to exert greater influence on the progress of the operation.

Poland supports the unity of the West and the best possible co-operation between Europe and the United States. This Partnership performed well at the most difficult times of the Cold War and Poland would not like the common enemy to be the only thought which mobilizes Europe and the United States to act together. Poland believes that the fundamental values and common interests will remain the best trans-Atlantic bond. The term of office of President Barack Obama, inaugurated a few weeks ago, gave Poland hope to renew the Western alliance.

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Page last modified: 11-07-2011 03:04:22 ZULU