The center of gravity in NATO has shifted from Germany to Poland, the head of Poland’s military told MSNBC.
Speaking to the U.S. broadcaster, General Rajmund Andrzejczak claimed this was in part because of the strategic situation and Poland’s geographical location, but also because Poland has been investing heavily in its defense capacity.
Ukraine’s importance to Poland and the global order should not be overstated, and this is why Poland has helped to absorb refugees and provide much-needed military and humanitarian aid.
Asked how he evaluated the state of the war, the general said “it was entering a critical phase in which Ukraine needed to establish an advantage,” and called the current situation “dangerous and dramatic.”
Andrzejczak did not think Russia would relent despite the high number of casualties it is incurring. This is because the Russian military tradition is different from that of the West and its tolerance of casualties is far higher.
Asked about Poland’s leading role in pushing for the delivery of tanks to Ukraine, the general said that right from the start, Poland was prepared to send not dozens but hundreds of its old tanks but that now Ukraine needed modern Western equipment.
This is why Poland was at the forefront of building a coalition of countries ready to offer that kind of assistance, concluded Andrzejczak.
Poland’s governing conservatives have long been Ukraine’s most ardent supporters, agreeing to send tanks and armaments long before top Western leaders green-lighted the move. The government legalized Poles joining the Ukrainian army and has regularly pushed for more aid from Western leaders who have often been initially reluctant.
Polish leaders have also not shied away from spending what is necessary to defend the country.
Last month, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki revealed that Poland will spend 4 percent of its GDP on defense this year, becoming the largest contributor relative to its economy in NATO.
This may be due to the fact that three-quarters of Poles believe the war in neighboring Ukraine threatens Polish security.