The Telegraph (March 29, 2023) – Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Poland has been investing billions in new tanks, weaponry, cyber operations and manpower. By 2035 Poland hopes to double the size of its armed forces to 300,000 troops.
There is even talk of the country becoming a major military power in Europe. Watch The Telegraph’s Steven Edginton interview key members of the Polish military and politicians to understand why they are rearming. He also asked young Poles whether they are prepared to die for their country.
For Poland, investing in the military is no longer a luxury but a necessity. With conflict at their border (don’t forget that two Poles have already been casualties of this war, killed by a stray Ukrainian missile) Poland can no longer rely only on the United States and its Nato allies for protection.
Warsaw plans to increase military spending to 5% of its GDP, outspending its fellow European capitals relatively by a wide margin. Poland’s military expansion must be thought of within the context of the nation’s history. You don’t have to be a pensioner to remember a time when Poland was suffering under Communist rule.
Monuments to the Soviet oppressors litter cities like Warsaw, where one can wonder at Stalin’s “gift” to the Poles, the grand Palace of Culture, and despite the government’s best efforts to tear them down many statues still stand commemorating the Red Army as “liberators”.