Dec 12, 2008

Poland Ends the Draft


When is the last war Poland was in? Better late than never I guess.

NY Times: As part of the wholesale effort to modernize its military, the Polish government has officially brought a close to conscription, making last week’s class of drafted recruits the final one after 90 years of compulsory military service.

The decision has come at a difficult time. Russia’s incursion into Georgian territory in August awakened real fears, catching policy makers and citizens off guard. Poland’s attempt to transform its military into a smaller, modern integrated force this fall is occurring in a season of turmoil, as its soldiers have left Iraq and are expanding their presence in Afghanistan.

Analysts say there are not enough funds and not enough men without the conscripts, while Poland is trying, in essence, to do it all at the same time. Supporters of the decision called it an overdue step toward matching the quality of the military forces of the country’s chief NATO allies in Western Europe and across the Atlantic. Critics called it a hasty and expensive move during an economic crisis, more a product of politics than of sound planning, and a lower priority than badly needed new equipment.

3 comments:

Leopolis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leopolis said...

"The decision has come at a difficult time. Russia’s incursion into Georgian territory in August awakened real fears, catching policy makers and citizens off guard."

Co to kurwa jest?

It awakened imaginary fears, not real ones -- and only some Poles felt this way. The Russia-Georgia spat didn't catch anybody "off guard," it only made certain Poles (i.e., supporters of PiS, veterans of Solidarity) say "see, we told you so!"

While many Poles think their country is not so secure after this incident, the fact is that they are in NATO, period. They are spending more % of GDP on the military than many other countries in NATO.

The whole draft debate is a distraction only for those who are pushing for more U.S. handouts (i.e. Patriot missiles, MD shield, etc).

Often insecurity is fueled by perception, not reality.

Pirates(and)Diplomats said...

I've had Poles tell me about wild scenarios whereby Russia would burn thru the NE corner of the country in an attempt to make a "Danzig corridor" to Kaliningrad.

After last summer, I've stopped saying that some things were not possible.

Crazy as it sounds.