Bill Proposed by Ruling Party Would See Poland Double Military to 300,000

Poland’s ruling party leader presented plans Tuesday for a homeland defense bill which he said is aimed at “radically” strengthening the military as the country faces migration pressure from its eastern neighbor Belarus.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the deputy prime minister who is undisputedly the most powerful politician in Poland, said the bill is needed due to a deteriorating international situation and also to Poland’s geopolitical location. Examples he gave included neighboring “Russia’s imperial ambitions” and the hybrid warfare being waged by Belarus against Poland and other European Union nations using migrants.

“If we want to avoid the worst, that is war, we have to act according to the old rule: ‘If you want peace, prepare for war,’” Kaczynski said at a news conference in Warsaw.

He argued that, as a country which lies on the eastern flank of the European Union and NATO, Poland must have a serious deterrent force and the “ability to effectively defend itself for a long time on its own.”

He noted NATO decisions take time to implement.

The bill, which still needs approval from parliament and the president, is aimed at replacing an existing one from 1967. At that time Poland was a member of Warsaw Pact eastern military alliance, under Moscow’s control. Since 1999 it has been a member of NATO, and is regularly cited as one of the few alliance members that invest at least 2% of its GDP in defense.

Kaczynski said, speaking alongside Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak, that he believed the changes would also benefit NATO.

Kaczynski and Blaszczak presented a plan to increase the defense budget and to more than double the size of the military to at least 250,000 soldiers and 50,000 reserves. The changes do not involve a reinstatement of compulsory military service.

Kaczynski also said Poland hopes to strengthen its forces by buying U.S.-produced military equipment but would also look at European-made weapons.

The plan to strengthen the army comes as Poland faces heavy migration pressure from Belarus. Warsaw accuses the Belarusian regime of President Alexander Lukashenko of encouraging migrants from the Mideast, Africa and elsewhere to seek entry to the EU through Poland.

It also comes as Poland finds itself increasingly at odds with its EU partners, with a conflict over changes to Polish courts — which the EU sees as an attack on judicial independence — escalating this month. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki told the Financial Times in comments published Monday that if the EU withholds funds to Poland over rule of law issues, it would be like starting World War III.

Source: Associated Press

Shephard Media:

Military expansion goes hand-in-hand with greater defence procurement, so Kaczynski referred to a ‘need to purchase new armaments and equipment. We will do it in the US but also with the European and Polish defence industries’, he said.

Ongoing acquisition programmes cited by Kaczynski include the HIMARS multiple-launch rocket system, the F-35A Lightning II multirole combat aircraft and Abrams SEPv3 main battle tank – although he said procurement of long-range artillery systems is also a priority.

1 Comment
  1. guest says

    Why not withdrawing from NATO ?
    It is the NATO-supported United States of Europe that is attacking and threatening Poland (and the existence of people of Poland). As we speak, it is NATO and EU-supported invaders that are attacking Poland. And if Poland opened fire on the border with White Russia, it would the United States of Europe and NATO that would turn on Poland in a harsh way.

    Does anyone in Poland seriously think there is any chance of Russia attacking Poland in this century ? (don’t Russians have enough problems as it is?)

    These (exact-same) Allies have betrayed Poland once, already, and they haven’t changed. (Why not learn from history ?)

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