This is a geopolitical update with its focus on Poland.

Full disclosure, I have a soft place in my heart for the Poles. The fact that they despise Biden, the corrupt, walking corpse, only underscores and vindicates my judgment.  They weren’t too fond of Barack either…again, showing me that their hearts are pure. There is no more love between the Poles and Vladimir Putin than there was between the Poles and his spiritual successors. They know that things could go hot for them overnight. They don’t have 3000 mile oceans to buffer their border with their principal adversary.

Poland and the polish people are very friendly to the United States.

Poles – laying mines

It always brings up the question about how you feel about landmines. If you’re trying to hold a perimeter and there are lots of mines in front of you, your feelings will drift in one direction. If you have to tramp through a field where they are scattered, you’ll inevitably feel differently.

If enemy armor is approaching to run you down and they charge headlong into a minefield, you’ll likely feel as though your prayers have been answered as tracks are blown off.

Kroton, mine laying tracked vehicle.

I don’t know how well these spreaders actually work. The Poles seem to like them.

It seems as though it works better on freshly turned soil…

US Military in Poland

The United States has a rotational military presence in Poland of approximately 4,500 personnel, including those involved in OAR and NATO Missile Defense efforts, and forces assigned to one of four NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Groups.

U.S. forces in Poland include an Army division-level Mission Command Element (MCE) in Poznan, Poland; elements of a rotational Army Armored Brigade Combat Team (ABCT) and support units; an Army Aviation Task Force; an approximately 750-person Army Logistics Task Force based in Poland but with logistics hubs also in Lithuania and Romania; a U.S. Air Force Detachment at Lask, Poland; and a U.S. Navy Detachment in Redzikowo, Poland working on the Aegis Ashore missile defense site as part of NATO Missile Defense efforts.

The U.S.-led NATO Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group stationed in Orzysz, Poland, includes an 857-soldier Armored Cavalry Squadron from the Vilseck, Germany-based U.S. Army 2nd Cavalry Regiment. On July 29, 2020, the Department of Defense announced that the 2nd Cavalry Regiment would be returning to the United States from Germany at an unspecified future date.

2% of GDP Threshold 

Some observers, including President Trump, contend that European allies have not invested sufficient resources in their militaries and that, as a result, the United States has shouldered too much of the financial burden associated with Europe’s defense. Such observers often note that most of NATO’s allies in Europe have yet to meet a pledge made in 2014 to increase their defense budgets to 2% of GDP by 2024. According to NATO, Poland’s defense expenditures were 2% of GDP in 2019. The Polish government plans to increase defense spending to 2.5% of GDP by 2030.

The Energy Sector

Hard coal, accounted for 57.9% of primary energy production in 2018, followed by lignite (18.1 %), natural gas (5.5 %), crude oil (1.6%) and renewables (16.9 %).  The consumption of primary energy sources was 4500 PJ in 2018, with hard coal and lignite sharing of 50% of all consumption.

Poland relies on Russia for its gas supply, as Russia’s Gazprom controls 56% of the country’s gas consumption. The rest is covered by domestic production (23%), EU imports (15%), and LNG imports (6%). Poland seeks to become energy secure, as well as diversify its gas sources before its contract with Gazprom expires in 2022.  As such, Poland is in the process of building gas infrastructure to become more energy independent and meet growing consumption.  Poland began this process with its first LNG terminal in Swinoujscie in 2015.  Since then, Poland has also increased its imports of LNG from Qatar and the United States.

There is a lot of politics involved in gas pipelines between Russia and customers in Europe and Poland is doing its best to poke the bear whenever the opportunity presents itself.

31 COMMENTS

  1. I really wish we had 3 heavy divisions in Poland… that would keep Vladi honest, for sure. What we have now, while better than nothing, is more of a Task Force Smith.

    AFAICT, the Poles would love to have us there, too.
    -Kle.

    • The US military presence in Poland is more of a tripwire for the Russians. They understand that. But to your point, better in Poland than in Germany.

    • Poland, Hungary and the nations that experienced communism are far more attuned to what can happen than the spineless Americans who voted for Joe and Ho.

  2. As for the other EU nations not spending enough for defense: I can remember a cartoon from way back that showed a European couple relaxing in luxury while, encased in a wall, there was a Break Glass In Case of Emergency box. Inside the box was a US soldier.
    Nothing much has changed since then.

    • They hope that there will be a GI. After the socialists gut the military, we may not have a navy that is able to get across the pond or aircraft who can deliver our hoard of trans-soldiers.

  3. Aside from half a dozen other ancestral countries (English, Scots-Irish, German, Hungarian, & Czech – with my dad saying “Russian as well, because you never knew where the borders were back then.”), I’m also Polish…so appreciate your post.

  4. I admire the way the Poles were able to get their country back from communism.

    Mines: Been decades but this old 12B had a lot of experience with them including training beyond basic and advanced training. Nasty things that don’t go away on their own. Even today I wouldn’t want to go on nature walks around the Gelnhausen area aka Fulda Gap on either side of the old border.

    • Yes, me too. And I admire the Polish Pope (RIP).

      Mines are a nasty piece of work. I used to teach a class on penetrating minefields in a clandestine way when I was in the Navy – because my part had to transit them from time to time. I tried to teach an Iraqi defector during Gulf War One, but all he wanted to do is talk. We did a beach insertion into the Iraq – Kuwait border area from the sea. We were using fast boats. We backed the boat off the shingle as he splashed ashore. He may have made it twenty feet before BANG. Smoke, blast and a few body parts flew. You need to listen during class.

      • I don’t wish explosive dismemberment on anyone (well, not hardly anyone) but “all he wanted to do is talk” reminded me of a junior MD from Pakistan that we had for a while. The guy would stick his head into my office, ostensibly for advice, but would end up lounging in my visitor’s chair bragging about himself, and that any time he was rejected (for anything) it was because the rejector was secretly jealous of and threatened by him.

        Eventually he moved on to a different job and I happily put him out of my head. Last week I heard from a friend about him. Apparently still a gigantically self-centered ass. I know it’s born out of deep-seated insecurity, but it’s annoying. Modesty and humility are Christian virtues, and the complete lack thereof seems more prevalent among followers (supposed follower; the man drinks and drugs) of another hot-desert monotheism.

    • Yes, Kaliningradskaya Oblast is an odd chunk of Russia, outside the contiguous borders, but it retains the same status as any other Russian state or region. Formerly Königsberg, before the Potsdam Agreement ceded the German territory to Russia. It’s the headquarters of the Russian (formerly Soviet) Baltic Fleet.

  5. love the polish people, soldiers. i read they do weekend warrior training voluntarily for free, dedicated, love trump. wish i’d paid more attention in foreign languages class. spent some time in hungary, loved it except for the mob running EVERYTHING. low cost of living though. heard they had a warrant out for soros so i guess they can’t be all that bad. ….mines, we trained to defend rhine main from the soviet juggernaut. tow missiles, so i love mines, at least anti tank mines. the t72 and the hind-d were the stuff of my nightmares back then. shiver just went up my spine, lol.

  6. and you gotta love capt. rafael gan ganowitz. reporter:” how does it feel to kill a human being?” ganowitz: ” i wouldn’t know, i’ve only ever killed communists.”

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