Did Warsaw aim too high for the Polish armed forces?

Poland acts as a hare in Europe in terms of the defense effort and modernization of the Polish armed forces in recent years, and more particularly since the beginning of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Even before the attack on Kyiv, Warsaw was already among NATO's excellent students in this area, with a defense effort of 2,5%, yielding only to the United States and Greece in this area.

Since then, the Polish authorities have made of the construction of the country's military tools a major strategic objective, by rapidly targeting a defense effort beyond 3,5% of its GDP, and by multiplying announcements and contracts acquisition.

An unprecedented effort for the Polish Armed Forces

It must be said that these announcements can impress, with the ambition to go from 4 to 6 mechanized divisions by 2035, the acquisition of 1350 M1 Abrams and K2 main battle tanks, 1400 Borsuk infantry fighting vehicles, 96 Apache anti-tank helicopters or almost 700 155 mm K9 and Krab self-propelled guns, and as many HIMARS and K239.

In the air sector, in addition to the acquisition of 34 F-35As announced in 2019, Poland has acquired 50 South Korean FA-50 light fighters, and eyes insistently on the KF-21 Boramae from the same builder, with a timetable announced for 2026. In the naval field, the construction of the first frigate of the Miecznick program began this week, while the ORKA submarine program was restarted.

The first Polish FA-50s entered service a few days ago
The first Polish FA-50s entered service a few days ago

Even the space sector has been taken over by Warsaw, with the order, last December, of two military observation satellites from the French Airbus DS. In fact, everything suggests that the Polish armies will become a formidable military tool in the years to come, capable of containing almost single-handedly the Russian threat which will not fail to re-emerge once the conflict in Ukraine is over.

We can also think that the recent renunciations of Western Europeans on the subject of the densification of the high intensity capacities of their armies, are partly linked to the certainty that Warsaw will constitute an impassable glacis to the Russian armies in the years to come. .

Human resources tensions

However, like their Western counterparts, the Polish armies also seem to encounter significant difficulties in the field of human resources, potentially threatening the extraordinary tool designed by the government.

According to an article published by the Polish defense information site Defense24.pl, the Polish armies would, in fact, face significant tensions in this area, linked not to recruitment difficulties as in Western Europe or the United States, but to the loyalty of its executives.

The Polish Armed Forces, too, face difficulties in terms of human resources
The Polish Armed Forces, too, face difficulties in terms of human resources

Thus, according to the article, a number of major executives, officers, but also non-commissioned officers, constituting today the backbone of the chain of command of the armies, hasten their retirement, threatening the pyramid of ages and ranks consubstantial of an effective army.


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