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28 Aug, 2009 02:39

U.S. doesn’t give up AMD plans

The U.S. administration has denied allegations that they might cancel the installation of an anti-missile defense shield in Poland. It says the project is still underway, though no final decision has yet been made.

For decades Poland played host to Soviet troops and, most recently, seemed almost certain to welcome U.S. servicemen onto its soil. But that may no longer be written in the stars.

The Polish daily newspaper Tribuna reports the Obama administration is virtually certain to abandon plans for placing elements of a U.S missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

The AMD agreement seemed to be a done deal, one of the final breakthroughs of the Bush administration. According to the agreement, Poland was to host ten interceptor missiles to guard against the so-called Iranian threat – a prospect that prompted vocal opposition from Russia, whose western-most frontier was about 115 miles from the proposed installation.

However, the Obama administration took a time-out to revise the project. Meanwhile, its opposition continued to grow. The latest polls show that about 60 per cent of the Polish population is against the missile shield.

Maciej Wieczorkowski is one of the anti-shield activists. His group, the Initiative Against War, was originally formed in early 2004 to protest against the U.S. war in Iraq. And while their rallies couldn’t stop U.S. troops, he hopes they won’t become a fixture in Poland.

“Our security should be based on good relations with our neighbors. It cannot be exported from across the ocean,” Maciej says.

Adam Rotfeld is from the other side of the debate. The former foreign minister of Poland, he says he was always in favor of the shield but now he feels Poland has been left out.

“Americans have their right to take any decision they want. But if they started their talks with these countries a few years ago, these countries should be the first to discuss any cancellation plans,” Rotfeld believes.

With or without the U.S. shield, many believe Polish security will remain uncompromised, but feelings in Warsaw have definitely been hurt.