Apr 9, 2021
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Poland will teach NATO to hold a machine gun and dig trenches

Poland will teach NATO to hold a machine gun and dig trenches

Photo: Agency Keystone Press / Global Look Press

The combat capability of NATO on the eastern flank leaves much to be desired, so Poland and the Baltic states should think about creating a separate “Baltic Union” to contain “Russian aggression.” This was stated by the commander of the Polish Land Forces in 2006-2009, General Valdemar Skshipczak… He outlined his ideas in a separate article, which was published by the Defense24 portal.

“Many experts predict that a war will soon break out in the eastern part of the Baltic Sea: Russia will attack the Baltic states, trying to divert public attention from the deepening economic problems and intensifying power struggles on the eve of the end of the era Putin… Such a development of events, of course, cannot be ruled out, ”Skshipchak says. But the scenario of “direct military aggression” excludes. Say, he carries too great risks for the “empire”.

For an armed conflict with NATO, the Russians will not have enough forces from the Western Military District – they will have to expose other flanks. And this will give Ukraine and Georgia a chance to “free themselves from Russian influences.” In addition, according to the Polish general, the Kremlin will not economically pull off a large-scale military campaign. The “Gas Station Country” will not withstand such a test and will explode.

This is followed by doubts about the professionalism of the Russian army. “The quality of the level of training of the personnel reserve leaves much to be desired,” Skshipchak writes. On what basis this conclusion was made is anyone’s guess. But potential “victims” of Russia should not relax anyway. Especially the Baltic republics. For them, the ex-commander-in-chief of the Polish Land Forces draws an unusual scenario of “occupation”. In Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the Kremlin will allegedly try to bring representatives of the Russian minority to power. They will announce their withdrawal from NATO and return to Putin’s protectorate.

“However, citizens who do not identify with Russia (Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians) will not want to put up with the return of their country to the orbit of Moscow’s influence, and this will create the basis for a civil war, which will serve as a pretext for the Russians for an armed invasion within the framework of the“ protection Russian population “. Unfortunately, the UN and the EU will be able to impose sanctions as much as possible. In the scenario described, NATO will not play any role, ”Waldemar Skshipczak simulates the situation.

Well, the world has lost an outstanding science fiction writer in the face of a retired Polish general. You need to have a very rich imagination to seriously consider this scenario.

Is there a chance for the Russian minority to come to power in at least one of the Baltic republics? Not. The largest and most politically active Russian community survived in Latvia, where the Soglasie party led by the now former mayor of Riga Neil Ushakov regularly won parliamentary elections. But she is not accepted into the coalition. For all other Latvian parties, cooperation with Consent is a taboo. In addition, even being in the “deaf” opposition, Ushakov and company did not question the Euro-Atlantic course of Latvia’s development. And today the “Russian mayor of Riga” is voting in the European Parliament for sanctions against Russia.

There is also the Russian Union of Latvia (RSL), which takes a more radical position and draws away the votes from Soglasiya. However, its weight in the country’s political system is negligible. In the last parliamentary elections, the RSL did not come close to the passing five percent barrier.

So who are these mythical “agents of the Kremlin” who must come to power in Latvia in a democratic way?

Every year there are fewer Russians here, and their involvement in political processes is decreasing. This was clearly demonstrated by the scandalous school reform, the goal of which is to completely eliminate secondary education in the Russian language of instruction. The protests were unsuccessful.

“In 2004, the government planned to transfer the secondary school only to Latvian, but in the face of tens of thousands of protesters, it had to soften the bill and limit it to 60% of lessons. Now we see another offensive. It is connected, first of all, with the fact that the number of the Russian population in Latvia is decreasing. Therefore, so far, the protest actions are not as numerous as we would like, ”admits the human rights activist, board member of the Latvian Human Rights Committee Alexander Kuzmin

In Lithuania, in general, not a single serious political force positions itself as the spokesman for the interests of Russian and Russian-speaking residents. Here even Poles have a more solid representation (the party “Election Action of the Poles in Lithuania – Union of Christian Families”, until recently, was even a member of the parliamentary coalition). In Estonia, the votes of Russians are accumulated by the centrists, who by no means strive for radical changes in foreign policy.

Mr. Skshipchak does not know all this, therefore he frightens the Baltic states with a scarecrow of “pro-Russian revenge”. It seems even more absurd to conclude that Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will be protected from the destructive influence of Moscow by military security guarantees.

“The facts are that in recent years NATO has been going through a crisis, provoked, among other things, by the anti-allied rhetoric of the former US President, the ambiguous position of Germany and France towards Russia, the actions of Turkey, which is waging“ its own ”wars and is in a state of irreconcilable conflict with Greece, and also an information war designed to discredit the alliance in Europe and undermine EU solidarity. The reestablishment of Russian influence in Hungary also raises concerns. The situation is very difficult, nothing like this has ever happened in the history of NATO. If the organization does not wake up, the military-political situation in Europe may change in the next few years, ”Skshipchak warns.

This is how the idea of ​​creating a “qualitatively new security system” was born. The Polish general calls it the “Baltic Union”. The idea is simple – if “Uncle Sam” does not pay enough attention to the defense of NATO’s eastern flank, then Warsaw will seize the initiative in this matter. Under her leadership, the countries of the region will integrate the potential of their armed forces in order to achieve superiority over the enemy on land, at sea and in the air. And this is not only about the Baltics.

“The inclusion of naval bases and airfields in Sweden and Finland in NATO’s defense system will significantly increase operational capabilities,” Skshipchak emphasizes. – The deployment of a part of NATO’s naval and air forces in this region already during the period of peace will certainly have a deterrent effect. A more decisive response to Russian air provocations in the skies over the Baltic Sea will confirm that the alliance is ready to protect its members in the region. “

In general, according to Skshipchak’s plan, a separate informal structure should appear in the NATO system. This idea clearly correlates with Poland’s claim to the role of regional leader in Eastern Europe. It is probably also a response to the suspension of the withdrawal of American troops from Germany. This process, shortly before the US presidential election, launched Trump and thus made Poland happy: it was she who was supposed to accept part of the military personnel who were previously stationed in the FRG. But then came Biden… In February, the Pentagon announced that the new Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin “Is in the process of conducting a very, very thorough review” of the American withdrawal plan from Germany.

“If the procedures of the Fifth Article of the Washington Treaty are launched, the key role in the defense of Poland will be played not by the 5,000 American troops stationed on your territory, but by the allied forces that will be transferred from Germany. Poland is interested in having as many American troops as possible, I do not see a better place for them in Europe, ”a Bundestag deputy from the Greens faction said in an interview with Dziennik Gazeta Prawna Manuel Sarrazin… A sensible remark, but the fact of the matter is that Poland needs an increase in the number of American troops not for security, but to increase its political weight.

It is now clear that the bet on the USA has not played out. The notorious “Fort Trump” – so Andrzej Duda proposed to name the American military base in Poland – has already become part of history. You can rename it to “Fort Biden”, but that hardly helps. Isn’t that why the Polish general proposes to adopt the concept of the “Baltic Union”?

The Americans, quite possibly, will even praise the Poles for striving to independently strengthen NATO’s combat capability. But the German reaction promises to be the opposite. The Baltic Union will become a factor in increasing military tension in Eastern Europe. This is actually another wedge that Warsaw can drive into relations between Russia and the European Union.

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