The West is beginning to become weary of the conflict in Ukraine, and it is critical for countries like Poland that Russia is stopped from making territorial gains through the use of force to ensure their safety, according to Jacek Bartosiak, a geopolitical strategy expert from the Strategy and Future think tank.
Asked whether Ukraine was losing the war with Russia in an interview with Interia.pl, Bartosiak said Ukraine is in trouble in the Donbas where Russia has the advantage and where it is fighting a type of war it is better equipped for and mentally prepared to fight.
The geopolitical strategist was pessimistic about western unity being maintained at the NATO summit in Madrid, and believed China will conclude that the West is passive towards Russian aggression. It is not even clear whether NATO would act if there was Russian action in the Baltic states, he added.
Bartosiak claimed Poland is facing a real threat in terms of potential Russian aggression because of its role in the war. Russia might well want to strike Poland with limited artillery, air and cyber attacks in order to reduce the possibility of NATO activating Article 5, which would mean other NATO states would come to Poland’s defenses. Poland should not fear so much an invasion as an attack on, say, its rail infrastructure that would not only affect its capacity to help Ukraine but also damage its financial ratings.
The analyst said Poland needed to war-game such scenarios and have a strategy for dealing with them; it also needs to decide whether and how it could strike back on Kaliningrad and Belarus. The problem is that even the USA is reluctant to arm its allies with long-range rockets, as the situation in Ukraine has demonstrated.
Bartosiak claimed that while Poland should attempt to take part in nuclear sharing in order to have NATO nuclear capacity on its soil, Germany would oppose such a move, as it is worried about the emancipation and growth in importance of Poland and Central Europe. That means that conflict between Germany and this region is inevitable within both NATO and the EU.
He was not convinced that Poland is ready for any armed conflict with Russia and warned that Poland’s failure to sufficiently strengthen its military over the past 30 years has cost it the chance to become an alternative for Belarus, which is fast becoming a vassal state of Russia.