4 Apr, 2019
War and soldiering were never far from the retired Polish army commander’s mind as he talked US nuclear strikes in response to Russia’s imaginary invasion and complained that NATO’s eastern European buildup was not enough.
Waldemar Skrzypczak, who led Poland’s Land Forces until 2009, seems to have joined the chorus of the West’s most belligerent military leaders who have seized on the “Russian threat” to make their case. Speaking to Wirtualna Polska, he claimed Poland has become a bulwark against the “aggression from the East.”
It is likely to become a scene of potential clashes between NATO and Russia, and this is why the alliance must realize that Poland “is an extremely important state from a strategic point of view,” the high-ranked retiree insisted.
Russia is now “the greatest concern of the free world,” and no army in Europe is a match for “the Russian war machine.” That said, there is only one thing left that could avert the imminent danger.
“It is true that the Americans vowed nuclear attacks to stop the Red Army in Poland,” Skrzypczak said, in an apparent reference to the days of the Cold War.
Now there are plans like this if Putin hits. Not only that, in a military sense, this is the most reasonable [response].
Such an outcome is “unacceptable” for Poland but if an all-out war breaks out, “nobody will ask our opinion,” the former general said. Going back to reality, he acknowledged that the worst thing that could happen to Poland is its isolation “as a result of our own political mistakes.”
“To say that Poland alone will be able to resist the aggression of Russia is a cheap populism that none of our allies treat seriously,” Skrzypczak argued.
Over the past few years, Poland has seen no foreign military activity on its soil aside from a massive military buildup initiated by NATO. The 29-member bloc sent sizeable land and air force contingents from the US, the UK, Germany and others to Poland as well as Baltic states, in addition to building sophisticated military infrastructure there.
Poland, after Romania, will host the US-built Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system, which covers all of western Russia. It also held an array of war games last year, with the two-week Saber Strike being the largest. The buildup did not go well, with some Poles who took part in numerous anti-war rallies in Warsaw and beyond.
According to the Russian military, NATO has tripled its assets on Russia’s western borders over the past five years. Moscow has repeatedly warned that an increased NATO presence on its doorstep undermines stability in Europe and heightens the risk of a military confrontation.