Nobody will ensure our security if we do not do it ourselves: minister

In an op-ed for “Rzeczpospolita” daily, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Polish Defence Minister wrote about the most important issues for the Polish army.

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Mr Błaszczak stressed that the security of Poland requires decisive actions. “Nobody will ensure our security if we do not do it ourselves, with thoughtful alliance policy and consistently improving our defensive capabilities,” he wrote.

The minister added that the army works along with society. He called for a nationwide consensus over political divisions where Polish national security is concerned.

He also emphasised that Poland’s strategic partnership with the US is “the strongest ever.”

“Numerous talks I have conducted along with the president Andrzej Duda in the US resulted declarations [signed] in June and September increasing the number of American troops to 5,500,” Mr Błaszczak wrote.

He stressed that this is a permanent presence, which Poland wants to increase further. “This is a signal that the US is ready to protect this part of Europe and Poland is no longer just a buffer state for them,” the minister pointed out.

“In 2020 we can expect the largest exercise transfer of 20,000 of American soldiers to Poland and the Baltic States during the Defender exercise. A total of 37,000 soldiers from 19 countries and 20,000 pieces of equipment will take part,” Mr Błaszczak wrote.

Among priorities of improvements in the Polish army, the Polish Defence Minister named air defence, stronger artillery and air forces, as well as better reconnaissance capabilities.

The minister also referred to the criticism directed at the Polish government, which is attacked for buying too much equipment in the US.

“We just buy the most modern equipment, which is produced in the US. This is the strongest country of NATO and the US is still the guarantor of security in Europe.