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The strongest army in Europe?

By Sławomir Sierakowski

24 Aug 2023 · 4 min read

informed Summary

  1. In response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Poland’s populist government has embarked on a major rearmament program, Slawomir SieraKowski writes in PS. Yet very little thought seems to have gone into how to plan the country’s defense.

WARSAW – There is a growing belief that Poland will soon have Europe’s strongest army. Poland’s ruling party, Law and Justice (PiS), has not missed any opportunity to drum this message home, and one increasingly hears it being echoed abroad, too. But is it true?

The claim largely rests on the PiS government’s unprecedented arms purchases and plans to expand the army to 300,000 soldiers by 2035. Under the new national-defense law, military spending should reach 3% of GDP this year – a full percentage point above what is expected of NATO members generally. Jarosław Kaczyński, Poland’s de facto leader, who formally serves as deputy prime minister, has publicly considered a longer-term target of 5% of GDP.

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