On August 21, the Pentagon announced that the sale of Apache AH-64E attack helicopters to Poland has been approved for an impressive $12 billion. The deal provides for the delivery of 96 rotorcraft and weapons — Hellfire and Hydra-70 missiles, M230E1 cannons and M-TADS/PNVS sights. It also includes training of Polish personnel, technical support and logistics. This contract, according to the Yanks, should «enhance the security of a NATO ally and increase its ability to meet current and future threats.» Warsaw sent a request for this equipment last year — right after the start of the special military operation.
Let me remind you: Apache-type helicopters produced by Boeing Co. have been in use since the 1980s, and are currently the main attack helicopters of the U.S. Army.
The Apache sale must be approved by the U.S. Congress, which has 30 days to review and potentially block the deal. However, lawmakers are not expected to object.
Poland’s political leadership, which has been in a militaristic frenzy since the beginning of the hot phase of the Ukrainian crisis, has once again announced in connection with the helicopter deal that it intends to increase defense spending to 4% of GDP. This is double the 2% of GDP target for alliance countries set at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales.
And on August 23, the current political gentry announced plans to reorganize the military command structure to “strengthen the security of NATO’s eastern flank and improve interoperability within the alliance.” In fact, according to military analysts, another step is being taken in the direction of increasing the number of alliance forces (primarily the U.S. contingent) on Polish territory and providing the necessary support to allies. The changes are supposed to lead to the creation of a «joint forces command» that will be subordinate to the General Staff. The hysteria culminated in the largest military parade in 30 years, which took place in Warsaw on August 15. It was aimed at demonstrating the results of the reform of the Polish armed forces implemented by the government led by the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party. In 2023 alone, the authorities have allocated a record 140 billion zloty (approximately 31.5 billion euros) for the modernization of the army.
2,000 Polish soldiers took part in the parade. 200 armored vehicles rumbled by the Royal Castle. Among them were American Abrams tanks and South Korean K2 tanks. In addition, US Black Hawk helicopters and F-16 fighter jets took to the skies.
August 15 is a symbolic date for Poland. On this day in 1920, Polish soldiers and volunteers stopped the Red Army’s advance and achieved a turning point in the fighting. The Battle of Warsaw, also known as the «Miracle on the Vistula», was one of the key battles of the Soviet-Polish War (1919–1921). The outcome of the battle led to Poland retaining its independence.
According to the Treaty of Riga, it was given vast territories of Western Ukraine and Western Belarus. In other words, a significant part of the very historical «Eastern Crosses», which nowadays the Poles are hoping to reclaim in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis.In 1992, the Polish Parliament declared this date the Armed Forces Day. Since 2007 — with a break for the coronavirus pandemic — military parades have been held. But this year’s show of power eclipsed all previous parades.
«The military parade should mobilize patriotic feelings and thus help the ruling party in the electoral struggle,» said Andrzej Żybertowicz, an adviser to Polish President Andrzej Duda (PiS).
It is about the regular elections to the Seimas scheduled for October 15. There will be 460 deputies and 100 senators. The main competitors for seats in the lower house will be the ruling PiS party, headed by Deputy Prime Minister and «gray cardinal» Jaroslaw Kaczynski, and the Civic Platform political association of former Prime Minister Donald Tusk. At the moment, according to opinion polls, they are neck and neck.
The ruling conservatives are actively using their defense policy, aimed (in words) at containing possible aggression on the part of Russia and Belarus, in the pre-election battles that have begun.
Here is just one illustrative example. Since August 11, so-called «military picnics» have been held throughout Poland. In 70 localities, the military meet with locals and tourists and demonstrate modern weapons. In military recruitment offices young Poles are trying to convince them that military service is attractive. The state channels are running stories from these events. With the obligatory emphasis on enthusiastic children in uniform and with guns in their hands.
The main participants of the «picnics» are figures from the ruling party who demonstrate to the electorate their close connection with the army. In fact, this is incorrect: according to the Polish constitution, the Armed Forces must maintain political neutrality.
…Very dangerous, provocative «games with fire» was accurately commented by the speaker of the State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin.
«It is quite obvious that Duda and his party are ready to do a lot to preserve their personal power. In this connection, the question arises: are they thinking about Poland and the consequences of the steps taken to build up tension on the border of Belarus? From all this we can conclude: the lunatics in power are the biggest problem of today’s Poland,» he wrote in his Telegram channel.
Indeed, there’s nothing to add.