On Sunday, December 7, Dr. Marek Chodakiewicz spoke at the American Polish Advisory Council’s conference on “Poland’s Emerging Role in Shaping Global Security & the US-Polish Partnership” at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.
During the conference, Dr. Chodakiewicz, who currently holds the Kościuszko Chair of Polish Studies at IWP, participated in a panel discussion on panel on “25 Years of Democracy in Poland and the US-Polish Partnership: Military Cooperation, Trade, and Common Objectives.” Other speakers at the conference included Honorable Boguslaw Winid, Poland’s Ambassador to the United Nations, and Jaroslaw Strozyk, Poland’s Defense Attaché in Washington.
An outline of his remarks can be found below.
Photo courtesy of the American Polish Advisory Council.
Poland’s Integrated Strategy:
Poland needs integrated strategy, one that encompasses many tools of statecraft. However, to play at the global scale, one must have the means to do so. Poland does not. It should acquire them. Meanwhile, it should either lay low and reform or make popular noises at the international level, in other words, bluff, and reform.
Poland can try to go it alone, which is unadvisable, or seek an alliance for security. At the moment it has NATO. However, the US is confused and Western Europe unwilling to step up to the task of defending NATO member states in the post-Soviet zone. “Leading from behind” will continue until a regime change in Washington, but a new administration, after, 2016, may or may not be willing to provide leadership for the alliance.
Meanwhile, despite America’s malaise, Poland needs to reform internally to be able to defend itself. The following should be done:
- Favor an economic system with low taxes, few regulation, and even fewer government bureaucrats; avoid EU regulations like the plague or learn to overcome them.
- Support a social system that encourages high birth rates and love of country.
- Relax gun laws.
- Encourage grass roots self-defense forces, starting with gun and rifle clubs (bractwa kurkowe).
- Foster paramilitary activities involving girl and boy scouts and other youthful volunteers.
- Set up territorial defense from above based upon the Swiss model.
- Establish throughout the nation a multitude of state arsenals with small arms and individual, portable defense systems, including anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. They are more efficient and economically feasible than expensive weapons systems they are designed to destroy like planes, helicopters, tanks, and armored vehicles.
- Train both paramilitaries and territorial defense soldiers both male and female.
- Re-institute a two track draft — for national defense or for national service (e.g., for hospital or school service).
- Assemble a small professional elite armed forces, including special forces.
- De-Communize and de-Sovietize the current brass. No post-Communist mentality permitted.
- Procure defensive nuclear weapons as deterrent: first step, of course, would be to acquire a nuclear reactor, which would also benefit Poland’s energy sector.
Meanwhile, the Polonia should put its money where its mouth is. Support pro-Polish and Polonian initiatives. Be proud and strong. Lobby both in DC and in Warsaw. Pressure the Polish government to make Poland into a venue into the EU for American interests, including to institute affirmative action for Polish American businessmen.
Peace can only come through strength.