Poland’s Top Military Official Accidentally Discredited NATO On Several Counts
General Rajmund Andrzejczak exploited his authority as Poland’s top military official to informally campaign for the ruling party during his latest remarks about the NATO-Russian proxy war by hyping up security threats and therefore betrayed his oath to be purely apolitical. In his passion to help them win re-election, he went too far by implying that NATO isn’t doing enough to stop the Sino-Russo Entente and suggesting that Article 5 isn’t sacrosanct, thus likely angering its US leader.
Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces General Rajmund Andrzejczak spoke at the Karpacz Economic Forum in southwestern Poland earlier this week about the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine, during which time he shared some very interesting information that was reported on by The Guardian. The present piece will highlight the most important parts prior to explaining how they accidentally discredited NATO on several counts.
* Poland speculates that China might tacitly approve North Korean arms shipments to Russia
- “I don’t believe North Korea is strong enough or so free to make such an offer, so maybe it is testing our determination, attention and political will, but what is even more important is what China says about this than the North Korean leadership.”
* Warsaw is worried that Moscow might meddle in the upcoming elections on 15 October
- “Andrzejczak also predicted that Russia would try to create a crisis in next month’s Polish election but gave no details in public. He warned that Russia was on a permanent war footing and was ‘very much active in Poland, looking for some gaps in the system, trying to interfere in the media’.”
* The NATO-Russian proxy war is viewed by Poland as part of a civilizational competition with China
- “Andrzejczak also warned that if Ukraine lost the war and Belarus went further into Russia’s orbit, Poland would find that limiting defence spending to 5% of its gross domestic product and a standing army of 300,000-strong would not be enough. ‘If we lose credibility as Nato, as a civilisation, China is watching, so this is a big game,’ he said.”
* Andrzejczak wants NATO to proactively engage in nuclear saber-rattling against Russia
- “Nato is a nuclear treaty organisation; it should be much more proactive and stronger to the Russians. In the 70s and 80s, 30% of B-52 bombers were flying permanently and had nuclear weapons with pilots ready to act. Today we have a challenge to say the word B61 [the primary US thermonuclear gravity bomb], so let us change narratives.”
* He’s also upset that the bloc ignored his government’s request to host US nuclear weapons
- “He said there had been complete silence since Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, asked to join Nato’s nuclear sharing programme owing to the deployment of Russian nuclear missiles to Belarus.”
* Poland lacks confidence that NATO would react to a hypothetical attack from Wagner
- “He asked: ‘Who is the Wagner group today? Is it a national action by Russia or, as the Russian minister of defence says, just a private military company? Is it enough for Article 5?’”
From the above, it’s clear that Andrzejczak is doubling down on the ruling “Law & Justice” (PiS) party’s national security focus that forms the crux of its re-election platform, but he’s arguably going too far. For example, reframing the NATO-Russian proxy war as part of a civilizational competition with China implies that Poland is indirectly fighting the People’s Republic via its military assistance to Kiev, which isn’t true. Spewing this false narrative, however, is likely an attempt to rally PiS’ conservative-nationalist base.
That party and its supporters believe that Poland has historically functioned as the West’s bulwark for protecting their shared civilization from what they depict as “Eastern barbarians”. PiS taps into that interpretation to justify its diehard opposition to everything Russia-related, but now the country’s top military official unexpectedly added an anti-Chinese twist to this shortly before the next elections. Andrzejczak’s hyperbole thus suggests that PiS doesn’t think Russophobia is enough to win re-election.
He himself is also channeling that sentiment by fearmongering about an alleged Kremlin meddling plot sometime around the vote, most probably for the purpose of preemptively discrediting the opposition if they perform better than expected, but it’s clearly not sufficient as evidenced by his tacit Sinophobia. In an attempt to artificially manufacture a sense of utmost urgency, Andrzejczak crossed an informal red line in Polish politics by hinting that NATO isn’t reliable, nor is its American leader either by extension.
He did this by complaining about the bloc ignoring his country’s nuclear-sharing request and then publicly questioning the sacrosanctity of Article 5 in the hypothetical event of a Wagner attack. The first is attributable to NATO’s reluctance thus far to escalate its security dilemma with Russia to potentially uncontrollable proportions while the second is based on a scenario debunked by the New York Times. Andrzejczak knows the truth about both, yet he’s still shamelessly manipulating the public’s perceptions.
The preceding point reinforces suspicions that he exploited his authority as Poland’s top military official to informally campaign for the ruling party during his latest remarks about the NATO-Russian proxy war by hyping up security threats and therefore betrayed his oath to be purely apolitical. In his passion to help them win re-election, he went too far by implying that NATO isn’t doing enough to stop the Sino-Russo Entente and suggesting that Article 5 isn’t sacrosanct, thus likely angering its US leader.