WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland plans to end its military missions in Lebanon, the Golan Heights and Chad as it cuts spending due to the global economic crisis, the defense minister said Wednesday….
Poland is trying to cut its defense spending this year by about 2 billion zlotys ($56 million) as its economy, the largest among the European Union’s new ex-communist members, shows signs of a significant slowdown.
Poland has about 500 troops in a U.N. force in Lebanon, 360 troops on U.N. duty on the Golan Heights — a territory captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war — and about 400 in Chad on a European Union mission that is to become a U.N. mission in March.
I suspect that we’re going to see a lot of this in the next couples months and/or years. As governments are forced to pay the exorbitant price of the global financial meltdown, they will become decreasingly interested in foreign military committments. Why spend money keeping the peace in Bosnia or Lebanon when you desperately need dollars to bail out your banks? I predict a (limited) return to isolationism among a lot of nations if this trend continues. Be on the lookout.