Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak announced Warsaw’s readiness to make the national armed forces the strongest in Europe. To this end, the leadership of the defense department of the republic plans to increase the number of personnel of the Armed Forces from 164 to 300 thousand people in the short term. Parlamentskaya Gazeta asked Oleg Nemensky, a leading expert at the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI), about the possibility of implementing such ambitious plans on NATO’s eastern flank in the near future.
A significant increase in the number of Polish Armed Forces is possible
As the RISS analyst noted, the increase in the number of personnel of the national armed forces by Warsaw is actually two times, up to the mark of 300 thousand people, is quite realistic. For Poland, this is not a force majeure situation, since in the “socialist past” its army numbered up to 300 thousand military personnel, and in the event of war it could increase to 650 thousand.
According to the expert, negative assessments have long been recorded inside the country that Poland refuses to develop its defense sector and relies solely on NATO partners and the US military stationed on its territory. “In the conditions of hostilities in Ukraine, the leadership of the republic can really listen to criticism and start creating armed forces that can fight back even in the absence of support from Washington and Brussels,” Nemensky emphasized.
The prospect of the entry of the Polish army into the territory of Ukraine is being discussed at the highest level
The analyst urged not to reject the idea of a possible large-scale preparation of Poland for hostilities on the territory of Ukraine, including a clash with Russian troops. Such a scenario, according to the expert, is being seriously discussed at a high political level. “Behind all this is not only theoretical preparation for being independently responsible for your own security, but also, perhaps, preparation for participation in armed conflicts abroad,” Nemensky said.
Deliveries of American and Korean tanks to Poland
The leadership of the Polish Defense Ministry is currently negotiating the purchase of 366 American Abrams tanks and thousands of Korean K2 tanks. If the planned deliveries are implemented, the national armed forces will become the strongest in Europe. This opinion was expressed by the head of the Ministry of Defense of Poland in the course of communication with local media.
Such an active desire to modernize their own army as soon as possible, according to the RISS expert, is associated with a shortage of military equipment in service, since a significant number of combat units were transferred to Kyiv. Nemensky believes that the supply of tanks in such volumes is unrealizable in the shortest possible time and will be stretched out for several years. Under the circumstances, Warsaw will continue to rely on financial support from partners in the Euro-Atlantic community, primarily from the United States. “Besides, a lot depends on how Abrams performs in the Ukrainian conflict. Previously, these tanks were used in other climates and other territories. If, in the process of their operation in Ukraine, a negative experience appears, then in this situation it is necessary to look at how satisfied the leadership of Poland will be with them, ”summed up Namensky.
Earlier, the US State Department approved a possible sale of a $10 billion arms package to Poland. It can include multiple launch rocket systems (MLRS) HIMARS, ammunition and other equipment for them.
• Poland began to retrain the military of Ukraine on Leopard tanks