Poland’s Territorial Defense Force is Macierewicz’s legacy

The Polish Territorial Defense Force (WOT) created in 2019 by Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz already features over 50,000 trained volunteers

editor: Grzegorz Adamczyk
author: Tomasz Łysiak
Polish Territorial Defense Force (WOT). Source: gov.pl.

I recently had the opportunity to take part in a military training exercise in Terespol in eastern Poland. People came from all parts of the country with all kinds of views and political convictions, but what united them was the need for raising their skill level to cope with any future armed conflict.

There were exercises in urban combat, lectures, and cooperation with regular forces. 

One of the more interesting features of my conversations during the training was the fact that, regardless of political leanings, people backed the greater emphasis on territorial defense that has taken place under the present United Right government. It is hard not to conclude that this is the legacy of the former defense minister, Antoni Macierewicz.

A vibrant Territorial Defense Force (WOT) in Poland is the legacy of the former defense minister Antoni Macierewicz. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

Territorial defense is a critical feature of any sound national defense system. The war in Ukraine has proven that only by building a strong civilian defense can the regular military be given the backing it needs to do its job. Light infantry armed with anti-tank weapons can stop invaders dead in their tracks. 

It would be good to document all the voices making clear how much we owe to minister Macierewicz with regard to creating the territorial defense forces and to send it to all the haters and doubters who sniped at him and the government over its creation. Now, the territorial defense forces are a source of national unity rather than division.  

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