Poland is creating a fourth division of the ground forces. As follows from the simulation presented by the portal “Defense24.pl”, it is primarily about protecting against attack from … the Brest direction. For the Warsaw strategists, in ten years independent Belarus may no longer exist.
How much does a Polish division cost? It depends on the division and its tasks, the Polish generals respond. Warsaw plans to create a fourth Polish mechanized division of the operational troops. Its goal is to protect against a full-scale massive attack from our territory.
“The Polish army must be able to hold out until the arrival of significant Allied forces. That is, we understand that Poland is not able to defend itself independently from such an attack, but it must hold out for a certain time,” says Andrzej Hładij, an analyst of the “Defense 24.pl” portal.
Poland is the largest NATO state on the eastern border of the Alliance, which invests 2% of GDP in defense. Given that the annual budget of the Polish army this year is about 12 billion, the creation of a new division can cost up to thirty billion dollars. There are almost three thousand Allied soldiers on the territory of our neighbor. However, knowing well the history, Warsaw does not want to rely solely on them.
“I realize that despite all the agreements signed, no one will protect us. We have already been through this in our history, this scenario. We must strengthen our defensive capabilities!” Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said at the International Salon of Defense Industry in Kielce, where they presented the results of the simulation.
History can also be traced in the date of the official opening of the future division headquarters in Siedlce. It took place on September 17 — the anniversary of the invasion of Soviet troops in 1939 in Poland, which at that time had been defending itself from the Germans for more than 2 weeks already.
“Poland should be ready for the worst scenario — a classical military conflict, with a large number of tanks and artillery, but this fourth division should also be able to respond to all the threats of a smaller level — militants, a kind of hybrid conflict,” Andrzej Hładij said.
The official Warsaw believes that the main part of the military strike may come from Brest. Today, there is only one mechanized brigade near Warsaw standing on the road to such an attack. Actually, it will become the foundation of the new division. Russian experts, however, are indignant.
“We must understand that Russia is a full-fledged state, we have everything we need. Why do we need Poland? What didn’t we see there? Brown coal? We do not have such goals, we do not have expansionist policies. Our military doctrine is defensive!” claims the military analyst from Moscow Viktor Litovkin.
But Warsaw is looking at the examples of Georgia and neighboring Ukraine, and the Kremlin is not trusted.
According to a series of simulations carried out by the Defense24 specialists, a new division near Warsaw would give a chance to hold out until the alliance’s help arrives. But even in this scenario, a significant part of the simulations ended in defeat. At the same time, the simulation is scheduled for 2028. It seems that Western experts generally do not see Minsk as an independent player in the more distant future.
“Our scenario is considering an attack from the side of the Russian Federation, because in Poland there is great concern about Belarus’ independence in the future. Already now, Russia and Belarus are cooperating very closely. And in the event of a crisis, Belarus may simply not be able to refuse Russia,” Andrzej Hładij said.
So far, the official Minsk has refused the establishment of a Russian airbase. Russian experts shrug their shoulders, the base will not hurt, but for now it does not depend on the Kremlin.
“It depends on Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko … to put it mildly, on his mood. Once Alexander Grigorievich wanted to strengthen relations with Russia, now he wants to strengthen relations with the European Union. His mood is changing: from the price of Russian gas to the Russian oil,” says Litovkin.
In order not to depend on the moods in the West and the East, Warsaw is betting primarily on its own forces. Poland creates a new kind of troops — Territorial Defense, and Minister Mariusz Błaszczak has already stated that four divisions is still not enough.