US foreign policy looks like a seesaw this week as we pull up stakes in Europe by abandoning missile defense in Poland, and push on with what certainly looks and feels like long-long-long-term nation-building in Afghanistan. The construction of massive military bases there, the mega-transfer of equipment and lumber and wheat seeds (and fertilizer), the expected "surge" of tens of thousands of new troops, all of it fastens us down deep into the Islamic world as we prepare to lighten up our presence in mother-Europe.
Note that the pivot here is probably Russia. While much of the analysis tends to focus on whether Russia will now respond to our missile retreat by cooperating with the US on UN sanctions on nuke-seeking Iran -- tepid compensation at best -- it is also worth considering something else: how Russian cooperation in the Afghanistan war with our supply lines may have played into the deal. Jihadists have made it very difficult for US/NATO supplies to come in through Pakistan (our wonderful "ally"); increasingly, our war effort is becoming supplied via Russian-controlled routes. Another little known fact is that our all-important MRAPs, the heavily armored troops carriers, are being flown into Afghanistan partly by Russian aircraft (h/t Marine Mom)!
Maybe the price of keeping Russian supply lines open to Afghanistan was our front line of missile defense in Europe.