National Defense

The Polish army, exhausted, will not engage elsewhere

(credit: Polish Ministry of Defence)

(BRUSSELS2 to Warsaw) The Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Radek Sikorski, confirmed it, in response to an AFP colleague, there is no question of Poland coming to reinforce operations in Libya, whether for air strikes but also for the maritime embargo and aerial surveillance. " We are participating in the operation in Afghanistan, providing the 5e large contingent in Afghanistan. We are present in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. » This position does not only concern Libya. Poland cannot (does not want) to do more in terms of external operations; it is at the maximum of its possibilities.

Neither in Libya nor in the Indian Ocean

Point of view that we were able to verify with an expert from the Polish Ministry of Defence. " We have a total of 3000 soldiers in operations abroad, including 2600 soldiers in Afghanistan. It's heavy, it's expensive ". And there is no question of additional engagement in Libya or elsewhere. Thus Poland will not provide a ship to the EU's anti-piracy operation (Atalanta) or even an on-board protection team (VPD).

Poland is stuck between a conscription reform which will be difficult and costly and an engagement in Afghanistan which lasts longer than expected – especially as it follows a long and important engagement in Iraq. The total withdrawal of combat troops from Afghanistan by 2012 should allow it to regain some air... However, as the country takes over the presidency of the EU, it is not a very good sign, for a country that wants to promote European Defense. And we could have hoped for a little more commitment – ​​for example at the level of the Indian Ocean or Somalia (EUTM).

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).