Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
The Afghan stabilization mission is a new challenge for Central European countries in the XXI century, and probably the most important and the most difficult mission for Central European armed forces. The fundamental role of NATO in Central European countries' security results from basic strategic documents related to common defense. Strengthening NATO, in short, strengthens Central European countries' security. In addition, the Afghanistan mission provides an invaluable experience for Central European armed forces.;The findings of this study shows that although the Visegrad countries' troop contribution lagged in the early phase of the ISAF mission, with the passing of time they have shared fairly the burden of responsibilities in Afghanistan. Moreover, Visegrad countries did not deploy forces to Afghanistan only because of allied obligations but also because of national interest and pragmatic reasons. Such considerable contributions by the Visegrad countries come from their aspiration to authenticate their reputation as a reliable allies. However, this research indicates that Visegrad countries' investment of troops and money did not translate into change of relations with the USA in particularly sensitive areas, as expected by Central European governments.;The new generation of Central European citizens and politicians do not seem to be anti-American, but there is a growing sense that Visegrad countries, especially the largest member - Poland, went too far in supporting Washington's foreign policy. The major reason for the reassessment of the Polish--American relationship is Warsaw's heightened self-reliance as a member of the European Union, and awareness that now the most pivotal issues are negotiated in Brussels. Another explanation is that Warsaw is mindful that being one of the most devoted US allies in Europe has brought more disadvantages than advantages. Therefore, it seems that Americans should slowly get used to the inevitable day when Poland and other Central European countries will oppose Washington's political, economic or military projects. And it will not be associated to Central European resentment towards Washington's foreign policy, but a sign of the times of independence and maturity of the Visegrad countries in international politics.
Kaluga, Bartosz, "The International Context of the Central European Countries Participation in The Afghan Stabilization Mission" (2011). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 4737.