Last week, the U.S. Department of State approved Poland’s purchase of 96 AH-64E Apache attack helicopters. Jim Townsend, an expert at the think tank Center for a New American Security (CNAS) and a former long-term Pentagon official, says the “purchase makes a lot of sense.”
“Attack helicopters are excellent tank killers. If Ukraine had Apaches right now, they could not only destroy Russian tanks but also target them with Hellfire missiles during the current offensive,” says the expert.
Townsend said he believes that considering the terrain and the type of threats from the east that Poland faces, it’s hard to think of a better purchase.
“Especially since they are used in conjunction with their own tanks. And of course, Poland has bought, in addition to a large number of Korean tanks, American Abrams M1A2 tanks which are designed to work with the Apaches. So, this is a great move,” Townsend stated.
“This confirms that Poland could soon have the strongest military in the Alliance, next to the United States,” added the expert.
He said that Poland’s approach to defense starkly deviates from that of Germany, which has recently reneged on its commitment to spend 2 percent of its GDP on defense in the budget proposal.
“This is simply another proof that Poland is doing what it should be doing. It knows it’s on the frontline and primarily relies on itself, not just on the fact that it is in NATO. It knows that it’s responsible for its own defense and that it needs to invest sufficiently to keep the Russians at bay,” says the American expert.
He says that the reports from Germany are very disappointing and if Berlin continues to resist fulfilling NATO obligations, it will severely affect its reputation as an ally.
“I wonder if they are not ashamed? If they are counting on this not being noticed in Washington and pointed out, they are mistaken, especially after (German Chancellor) Olaf Scholz’s announcements about a ‘zeitenwende.’ Backing out now looks like deception,” Townsend stated.