POLISH MISSILE DEFENSE
Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw T. Sikorski is urging the U.S. Congress not to cut funding for U.S. missile defenses because he is worried it will undermine Polish support for the recent U.S.-Poland agreement to build missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic.
“The implementation of the Ballistic Missile Defense Agreement will require political commitment of both sides and appropriate funding,” Mr. Sikorski stated in a Sept. 9 letter to House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat.
The minister stated that the Polish public is closely watching the congressional debate on missiledefense funding as part of the fiscal 2009 defense bill.
“A significant reduction in funding for the missile-defense site in Europe may be interpreted in Poland as a lack of commitment to the common defense against missile threats,” he stated.
Mr. Sikorski also stated that the Russia-Georgia war makes U.S. and Polish security ties “more necessary than ever.”
A spokesman for Mr. Obey had no immediate comment.
The Pentagon asked Congress for $285 million for European missile defense work, including the Polish interceptor site, radar and construction funds. The House cut $165 million, leaving $119 million.