Defence analyst: new strategy sets out values and direction

Defence and security analyst Dr Jacek Raubo tells Poland IN that the new security strategy announced by President Andrzej Duda is a statement of the direction of security values and a pointer as to the direction of travel for Polish security in the future.

See full interview here.

President Duda unveiled Poland’s new security strategy on Tuesday. It identifies key threats, such as Russian neo-imperialist policy, demography, water and electricity supply problems and infectious diseases. The strategy emphasises Poland’s Euroatlanticist orientation on the world stage. It sets an ambitious target of spending 2.5 percent of GDP on defence come 2024. But it does not include any commitment to support the enlargement of NATO to the east nor a desire for Poland to participate in NATO’s nuclear sharing programme. However, it does put the building of the planned Solidarity transport hub near Warsaw which is to link air, road and rail networks as a key plank of Polish security.

Dr Raubo did not feel that the security strategy needed to wait for the pandemic to be over to be published. He argued that the strategy was about countering all threats and was “an important symbol of Poland’s security values and a signpost for the direction of travel in terms of the future of our security.”

The defence specialist saw the target of 2.5 percent of GDP by 2024 as necessary for Poland to be able to “deter, modernise and fulfill obligations towards its NATO partners.” But he felt that NATO enlargement to the east could not be a part of the strategy, since NATO has become more focused on meeting Article 5 obligations rather than political considerations.

The analyst acknowledged the importance of territorial defence in the concept of “total defence that involves the whole of society”. But he did not feel that Polish society was ready at this stage to debate the return of national service.

Finally Dr Raubo saw the presence of the Solidarity transport hub investment in the strategy as an important acknowledgement that mobility was vital for NATO’s capacity to react quickly in times of crisis. The transport hub is to link the road, rail and air networks in a location near Warsaw.