Jacek Hoga sees no other way for Poland to go. If it is to be ready to fight a full-scale war, and not just a battle at the border, it must radically increase its military capacity. The government wants to increase the number of divisions from four to six, but to do that a huge increase in the numbers of reservists is required, which can only come through conscription.
According to Hoga, conscription is part of Poland’s constitution. The law on conscription is still on the statute book and its execution has merely been suspended. The overturning of that suspension is purely an administrative decision, but one that is of course highly charged politically.
However, for conscription to be facilitated, adequate infrastructure for servicing it must be in place. That infrastructure has largely been destroyed. We lack the accommodation facilities, uniforms, and even the laundry services.
There would be teething problems at first, warns Hoga, but they would have to be overcome and infrastructure constructed where it is needed. That requires resources. According to Hoga, Poland should have acted on this sooner given its geo-political positioning. Germany, France, Spain, and Italy do not have a neighbor who is a military threat to them, so they do not need to prepare on the same level.
Hoga warns that Poland is not yet equipped for a full-scale war such as the one in Ukraine in terms of logistics, equipment, or materials, and Poland does not have adequate trained reserves. Reserves which need to be there to fill in the gaps left by casualties of war.
The security expert is also concerned that Poland is not prepared for speedy mobilization. The country is additionally low on equipment required to replace that lost in combat. But the main issue is the shortage of reserves.
Hoga sees no alternative to the reintroduction of conscription if the government’s program of enlarging the army is to succeed. A program that has to be realized for Poland to be a serious military player in this part of the world.