Those Muscular Poles

The Poles already have the Continent

From Wall Street Journal:  Britain plans to mothball its single aircraft carrier and shrink its standing army to a size last seen by Napoleon. France is cutting its rapid deployment forces almost in half. Then there’s Poland, the exception to Europe’s feverish disarmament.

The Poles already have the Continent’s seventh-largest army and are adding to it. This year’s defense budget is 7% higher than in 2012. Even more eye-catching is Poland’s decision to devote 140 billion zlotys ($43 billion) over the next decade—a third of all military spending—to upgrade and purchase equipment. . . .

"Viewed from across the Atlantic, this is precisely the kind of forward-looking, strategic thinking that Washington should seek to replicate across NATO—and at scale," notes Peter Doran of the Center for European Policy Analysis, a Washington think tank. . . .

The Poles are doing their part, and there’s a lesson for others here. The first step is a serious political commitment to security. The country’s leaders recognize growing threats to the south (from Islamists in Africa and the Middle East) and from an authoritarian Russia to the east. Warsaw wants to play a leadership role in its region.  (photo: Ministry of Defense of Poland)

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