US promises Poland Patriot missiles
The US secretary of defense Bob Gates (the only hold over from the Bush Administration) has given assurances that Poland will receive defense aid. He told Rzeczpospolita that if the threat from Iran disappeared there would be no need to base an anti-missile shield in Central Europe. But, America would keep its promise to base Patriot missiles on Polish soil.
The defense secretary said during the NATO summit in Kraków that the USA needs time to reach a final decision over the shield. This is another signal from Washington that if Russia puts pressure on Iran, then the US could withdraw from the shield.
The U.S. at Polish request promised to respond to any aggression against Poland without waiting for NATO to act. This is a reflection over Russian intentions, and concern about the strength of NATO's long-standing policy of "an attack on one is an attack on all."
Are we to assume however weak the EU's and NATO's military response to Putin is going to be over Georgia, the Ukraine, the Baltics or the Balkans, America will fight over Poland come what may.
The defense of Europe depends critically upon the USA.
The problem is that defending Europe doesn't stop in Poland. Guaranteeing Poland's security is pretty meaningless without also guaranteeing Slovakian, Czech, Hungarian, and Romanian security. If the US permits Putin to make moves on Romania, he will then have direct access to the Balkans and will easily destabilize the region.