Discover more from Andrew Korybko's Newsletter
Poland’s Top Military Official Shared Some Unpopular Truths About The NATO-Russian Proxy War
Nobody should doubt Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces General Rajmund Andrzejczak’s intentions or suspect that he’s a so-called “Russian agent” since he sincerely wants the West to win its proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, but he’s also very worried that it might lose unless his side acknowledges the unpopular truths that he just shared since the failure to do so could doom Kiev to defeat.
The last time that Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces General Rajmund Andrzejczak generated media attention was in late January after he elaborated on how formidable Russia remained at the time, but now he’s once again making headlines for building upon this assessment. Poland’s Do Rzecy reported on his recent participation in a strategy session with the National Security Bureau, during which time he shared some unpopular truths about the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine.
Andrzejczak said that the situation doesn’t look good for Kiev at all when considering the economic dynamics of this conflict, with him drawing particular attention to finance, infrastructure issues, social issues, technology, and food production, et al. From this vantage point, he predicts that Russia can continue conducting its special operation for 1-2 more years before it begins to feel any structural pressure to curtail its activities.
By contrast, Kiev is burning through tens of billions of dollars’ worth of aid, yet it still remains very far away from achieving its maximum objectives. Andrzejczak candidly said that Poland’s Western partners aren’t properly assessing the challenges that stand in the way of Ukraine’s victory, including those connected to the “race of logistics”/ war of attrition” that the NATO chief declared in mid-February. Another serious problems concerns refugees’ unwillingness to return to their homeland anytime soon.
These economic, logistical, and population factors combined to convince him that he must urgently raise the greatest possible awareness of these problems in order to “give Ukraine a chance to build its secure future”, which in the context that he shared this motivation, is a euphemism for even more Western aid. He elaborated by adding that “As a soldier, I am also obliged to present the most unfavorable and difficult to implement variant, giving a field to all those who can and should help Ukraine.”
Nobody should therefore doubt Andrzejczak’s intentions or suspect that he’s a so-called “Russian agent” since he sincerely wants the West to win its proxy war with Russia in Ukraine, but he’s also very worried that it might lose unless his side acknowledges the unpopular truths that he just shared. In his view, their failure to do so could doom Kiev to defeat, though the argument can also compellingly be made that indefinitely perpetuating this conflict like Poland seeks to do might be even more disastrous.
After all, none of the three challenges that he drew attention to can be overcome anytime soon. The only exception might be the population one, but that would entail changing EU legislation in order to allow the expulsion of refugees, which is unlikely to happen. The economic and logistical factors are systemic ones, which affect not only Ukraine, but the entire West in general. It’s simply impossible to sustain the pace, scale, and scope of the West’s multidimensional aid to Ukraine if the conflict drags on.
As Andrzejczak himself admitted, “We just don't have ammunition. The industry is not ready not only to send equipment to Ukraine, but also to replenish our stocks, which are melting.” Considering that Poland is Ukraine’s third most important patron behind the Anglo-American Axis, this strongly suggests that all other NATO members are struggling just as much as it is to keep up the pace, scale, and scope of support, if not more since many are a lot smaller and thus less capable of contributing in this respect.
Accordingly, this observation means that Kiev’s upcoming counteroffensive will likely be its “last hurrah” prior to resuming peace talks with Russia since the West won’t be able to keep up its assistance for much longer. Andrzejczak seems keenly aware of this “politically inconvenient” fact, hence why he wants his side to give its proxies as much as possible until the end of that operation in the hopes that they can then be in a comparatively more advantageous position by the time these talks recommence.
He and those who think like him are making two very dangerous gambles: 1) they expect the upcoming counteroffensive to be at least mildly successful in gaining some ground; and 2) anticipate that Russia will agree to resume peace talks once this operation finally ends. The corresponding risks are obvious in that: 1) the counteroffensive might fail so badly that Russia exploits this disaster to gain an uncertain amount of ground instead; and/or 2) Moscow might not recommence talks upon Kiev’s request.
No responsible policymaker would take either of those variables for granted, hence why it’s arguably better if Kiev abandons its counteroffensive and accepts China’s ceasefire proposal instead of taking the growing risk that it fails and/or Russia keeps fighting knowing that Western support might soon end. Those interconnected worst-case scenarios are growing in likelihood due to the economic and logistical challenges that Andrzejczak identified, with only the chance of Russian mishaps balancing out the odds.
Nevertheless, all indications suggest that the counteroffensive will soon begin despite the serious challenges inherent in it, with this decision being driven by political factors connected with the need to show the Western public that their over $150 billion worth of aid has been spent on something tangible. Even if it ends up being a disastrous spectacle, decisionmakers are willing to take that risk, with some like Andrzejczak wanting to go all in out of desperation to score a final victory before resuming peace talks.