I suspect as a result many nations have come to rely on America to provide such things for them that they themselves could do if they wanted to undertake such an initiative. After all, why take on such expense if someone is offering to do it for you?
No one relies on America however Poland is the only significant supporter next to UK and many nations around us look as to what are we going to do next.
If Europe remains peacefull than Poland will join the big 3 (Germany, France, UK) within the next 20-30 years but US needs that voice much much earlier, no one relies on US its US that will grow to rely on Poland if it hopes to retain its influence in Europe.
Important bit is to understand that if US is going to help out Poland become a fully self supporting strong player thats only because this situation is furthering US goals, so its not exactly a hand out.
Often politics are a reflection of common social interaction, just on a grander, international scale.
Only in the age of kings and great leaders, in times of democracy when its much less personalized its a much more complicated process.
I ask again, Sokrates. Where is the perceived threat? Who are you protecting yourselves against with this shield? All I've seen in your last few posts has been talk of Russo-Polish relations.
Sean at the moment there is no threat however there will be, unless you are willing to bet that Europe is stabilized for good, building our political, military and economical standing in anticipation of the threat is done so much better when its still not there.
Some sort of conflict with Russia is a foregone conclusion, Eastern Europe and Russia have simply to many colliding goals and interests to maintain status quo for much longer, the question is when will the conflict begin, what will be the sides and what form will it take.