Poland, chastened by the vision of Russian tanks invading Georgia, has just decided to sign a deal with the United States to deploy an anti-missile system that Russia strongly opposes on its territory. The ruling party in Poland, the Civic Assembly, won the last election, in part, by castigating the missile deal. But with Russian troops streaming across the Georgian border, it doesn’t seem like such a bad idea after all.
This is only the beginning of a backlash against Russia that will emerge in the coming months. Putin has gone too far and showed too much of who he really is. The result will be to trigger a level of defiance in the former satellite countries and in NATO that he has not anticipated. Ukraine will be admitted to NATO. American involvement with Georgia will increase. And Putin will soon find out how expensive his miscalculation was.