In the midst of the rising pressure on NATO’s eastern flank, Warsaw made it clear that it will not spare on defence spending in the upcoming years. The recent tragedy which struck the village of Przewodów proved that standing still would be too risky. On Monday, Poland and Germany agreed to deploy additional Patriot missile launchers near the Polish border with Ukraine following an offer from Berlin.
Since taking power in late 2015, Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has underlined the importance of having a strong and efficient military, ignoring the voices claiming that conventional warfare belonged to the past.
Poland’s leaders believe that the country should display such strength that it would discourage any potential aggressor. A U.S. Army official in Europe recently told Politico, “Poland has become our most important partner in continental Europe”.
Back in July, Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak announced that his country has ambitions of having “the most powerful land forces in Europe.” As a result, Warsaw is to raise its target defence spending from 2.4% of its GDP to as much as 5%. The country is purchasing military equipment from the USA, the UK, and South Korea among others.
Poland already has more howitzers and tanks than its Western German neighbour and is about to have a much larger army. Germany’s military is about 170,000 strong, slightly more than Poland with 150,000.
Yet, Warsaw targets to reach 300,000 troops by 2035.
Last spring, Poland signed a 23 billion zloty (€4.9 billion) deal for 250 Abrams tanks from the U.S. this spring. Warsaw signed a $4.6 billion deal for 32 F-35 fighters two years before.
Poland also recently ordered over $10 billion worth of weaponry from South Korea. The deals include 200 K9 Thunder howitzers, 48 FA-50 light attack aircraft, 180 K2 Black Panther tanks, and 218 K239 Chunmoo rocket launchers.
By 2035, the country aims to spend an unprecedented 524 billion zloty on the military.
Image: Twitter @mblaszczak, Getty Images
Author: Sébastien MeuwissenBez kategorii Politics