If I were Poland I would be especially concerned that any actions I took would not piss off the sleeping Russian bear. Because it's not like Western assurances of coming to the Poles' aid have been very trustworthy in the past -- or currently; ask Georgia.
And it's not like Russia has shown great restraint in the past when it has come to Poland's borders. Partitioning of Polish lands has been the real-life version of a giant Risk game, especially during the years 1795 to 1918, when Poland was partitioned three separate times by Germany, Russia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The final partitioning of Poland that occurred during WWII was horrendous; more than six million Poles were slaughtered. But statistically, that episode was not even the worst in Polish history. In the mid-17th century, Swedish armies and Cossacks combined to devastate the Polish state. Called Potop Szwedzki (the Swedish Deluge), one third of Poland's and Lithuania's population perished.
The installation of ten Patriot batteries to intercept [ostensibly] Iranian missiles seems like a drop in the bucket. And, if I were Russia, the following comment wouldn't assuage confusion over the purpose of the weaponry. “Poland and the Poles do not want to be in alliances in which assistance comes at some point later — it is no good when assistance comes to dead people,” the Polish prime minister, Donald Tusk, said on Polish television. “Poland wants to be in alliances where assistance comes in the very first hours of — knock on wood — any possible conflict.” It doesn't sound like the real worry is a barrage of missiles from a third-rate nation that is being built up to being the 21st century agressor state by an American administration that is barely hanging on.
No, I can't blame Poland. But I would be very careful and tread very softly.
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