Poland: The US’ Trojan Horse
In July, NATO’s analytical structure, the Atlantic Council, published a report on Poland's role in containing Russia. The report was sponsored by British General Richard Shirreff and Polish author Maciej Olex-Szczytowski. This small study had the clear goal of preparing experts and public opinion, primarily in Poland and Eastern Europe, for the reorganization of NATO structures. The document, “Arming for Deterrence: How Poland and NATO Should Counter a Resurgent Russia,” represents another step in the deterioration of relations with the Russian Federation like other such initiatives in both the civilian and military sectors. For now, these are up for debate, but the risks posed by the two authors in their text might very well become real.
Indeed, many of them are significantly dangerous. The report is publicly available, so anyone can read it. Here is its essence.
1. Russia is a threat, especially to the Baltic countries. Therefore, Poland is obliged to protect them in the case of a Russian attack. The response should be immediate. Since Poland shares a border with the Kaliningrad region, Warsaw should have the right to attack Russian targets there. But besides that, Poland should have the right to strike deep into Russian territory, including using long-range missiles which will soon be delivered by the United States. To this end, targets should be selected in advance, such as the Pioneerskiy strategic radar in the Kaliningrad region. In addition, Poland should reserve the right to carry out offensive operations in cyberspace. As for civilian objects, the Moscow and St. Petersburg subways and RT TV station should be targeted.
This part is beyond the common sense. Stating the possibility of attacking another country’s civilian infrastructure is not only a step towards a political scandal, but also a reason for prosecution by international courts. Even the conventions on war state that civilians should not suffer from hostilities.
It seems that the authors want to put Poland in a negative position in the eyes of the international community.
Such statements are not even openly allowed in the US, although, of course, it is known that the CIA, NSA, and Cyber Command have launched hacker attacks against the servers and systems of other countries (such as Iranian nuclear facilities’ networks).
Then, the document says that Poland should have the right to deploy its special forces to Russian territory for the sake of destroying important objects, such as rocket launcher and radar systems which are difficult to knock out with electronic warfare. What’s more, Poland is expected to assume these tasks alone without other NATO countries’ help, just as it is expected to simultaneously, rapidly send its units to the Baltic countries and Romania.
All these theses are mere political declarations, but they also entail political action.
2. The according political ramifications of these tie into Poland’s influence on EU defense and security policy. The first aspect of such is Poland’s opposition to any attempt by the EU to create its own armed forces. This effectively means that Poland is and will be used by the US as a Trojan horse within the EU to oppose the continuation of European integration.
It is recommended that Poland restrict its citizens’ travel to other EU countries while Poles need to focus on improving the country’s military capacity. The number of military staff will need to be increased to 150,000 personnel from the 100,000 that it employs now.
It seems that Washington wants to use Poland as its agent within the EU and as cannon fodder in a conflict with Russia.
3. Finally, the report lays out preparations for war.
The United States has relied on the head of the National Security Bureau, Pawel Soloch. However, for the practical implementation of new plans, staff training needs to be carried out, modern equipment and ammunition need to be provided, and forces need to be maintained in a state of constant readiness.
It seems that these techniques of subversive activities against Russia are already being carried out on Polish territory. There is evidence that training camps for radical nationalists from Germany and Ukraine were already in operation in the Warmia-Mazury region last summer. It is obvious that they were intended to be used for sending forces to Donbass. In the future, however, the most capable fighters produced by such could be used as saboteurs in a conflict with Russia.
However, the report’s authors mainly draw attention to the supply of US military equipment to Poland, which fits into the technical modernization plan.
In 2012, a ten years roadmap was adopted which planned for $34 billion to be allocated for Polish rearmament. Now, the plan is being reviewed to expand financing.
Poland’s means for deterrence are American-produced air-land missiles with a range of 370 km. It is expected that the US will provide new missiles with a range of 900 km following the US Congress’ approval. But in order to use these missiles, Poland will need access to satellites, which is to be provided next year.
Poland also needs new fighters and attack helicopters, which is giving rise to an enormous contract for American manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin.
The report’s authors suggest that Poland’s land forces need mobile artillery formations to be established and a sufficient amount of anti-tank weapons and mobile anti-aircraft equipment to be supplied.
Before concluding, we should note two more aspects: the development of the Polish armed forces’ cyber capabilities and the recruitment of Russian-speaking migrants from Ukraine to spread anti-Russian propaganda.
It is significant that the authors based their report’s proposals for strengthening the Polish army on the experience of fighting in Donbass.
Although Ukraine is an independent state and is not a member of NATO or the EU, everyone understands that a large number of advisers and instructors from the United States and NATO are currently present there and are likely exploring and collecting information.
However, how is this connected to EU and European security?
Terrorism and the uncontrolled migrant influx to Europe are far more serious threats than a mythical one supposedly emanating from Russia.
In addition, the document clearly states that other NATO members would have to support Poland in its ambitions for military modernization at their own expenses. But how can other countries agree to such an approach while they are already being forced to cut social programs? Why should European countries accept the wishes of the US and Poland if they are skeptical towards the creation of a European security system?
Undoubtedly, new military installations, whether they be in Poland or any other Eastern European country, will provoke a response from the Russian side. We should not even humor a hypothetical military conflict with the latter country.
If Britain recently acknowledged that its military is inferior to the Russian one, then what about Poland? It is necessary to take into account the current successful modernization of the Russian armed forces and their combat experience in Syria.
We should also remember that Russian national defense doctrine states that Russia can use nuclear weapons in the case of a threat. Such a scenario would hardly be enjoyable for Poland and other EU countries.
Maybe the next leadership of the Republic of Poland will be more restrained in their assessments of a “Russian threat” and will instead carry out reforms that meet real national interests and those of European security. Bulgaria is a perfect example since it has stated that it will not participate in any conflict with Russia. Other NATO member states such as Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary are also gravitating towards normalizing relations with Moscow rather than playing strange games with their military budgets over some kind of non-existent threat. These countries were not inadvertently mentioned in the report as were Romania and the Baltic states.
Finally and unfortunately, Poland is not an icon of European democracy. Germany recently ordered that countries who do not fulfill EU demands be punished. Poland was on this list. If Warsaw wants to become an outcast of the European community, then it can continue to follow American orders. But sooner or later, Polish public opinion will seriously regret this.