Open Letter from Former Ministers of Defence in Poland 1997-2015
Twenty five years ago, Poland, from being an adversary of the West, became its ally and later a member of NATO. This was an achievement of which in the years preceding 1989, we could only dream about. This was also a success of all governments of the Republic of Poland made possible because of the prevailing consensus on the matters concerning foreign policy and defence. On the merit of this accord, Poland built a strong position within NATO and was regarded as a stable, dependable and a trustworthy partner in its structure.
Such was Poland, because over the last few months since its election, the PiS government has been undermining the position of Poland within the European and Transatlantic structures. Moreover, theMinister of Defence, Antoni Macierewicz announced in the Sejm, that in Autumn 2015, Polish Armed Forces had no capacity to protect the land, airspace nor key structures necessary to command the country.
It is difficult to believe that a high ranking politician responsible for such important office, could so easily discredit the potential of the Polish army. Particularly, in view that his comment does not reflect the truth and is contradictory to the opinions held by our allies. Furthermore, this comment undermines our position in the Alliance and encourages our adversaries’ aggressive behaviour towards Poland.
Every minister of defence is conscious of the effort that must be invested in building public’s confidence in the army and equally, how easy it is to erode this confidence. The present Minister of Defence is destroying the confidence built by our commanders and soldiers over the years both domestically and in the course of their military missions in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Chad and Afghanistan.
Minister Macierewicz’s allegations are directed not only at the 8 years of PO-PSL government, but at the accomplishments of all governments in the period of twenty five years. His allegations are not supported by evidence, they are devoid of elementary logic and coherence. In March this year, he said that Poland was selected to host the NATO summit as a safe country and that Poland was the only country in Central Europe able to launch a potential counter-attack on Russia.
What is the reason for the ministerial appraisal of the Polish Armed Forces changing so suddenly? Could this be the result of manipulation and propaganda ? Is there any justification for such approach to our national security?
Even the fiercest political struggle should not be waged at the expense of the interests of Poland. For this reason, we express unequivocally, our protest against such methods of work and conduct. We believe that Antoni Macierewicz should not remain in office as the Minister of Defence.
Notwithstanding the above, we trust in collective wisdom of the Polish people and we believe that the true image of the Polish Armed Forces will be recognised by the public.
- Janusz Onyszkiewicz – Minister of Defence 1992-1993 and 1997-2000
- Bronislaw Komorowski–Minister of Defence 2000-2001, President of Poland 2010 – 2015
- Janusz Zemke – Deputy Minister of Defence 2001-2005
- Radoslaw Sikorski –Minister of Defence 2005-2007, Chief of the Foreign Office 2007-2014
- Bogdan Klich – Minister of Defence 2007-2011
- Tomasz Siemoniak – Minister of Defence 2011-2015