Leadership: Russia's Worst Nightmare

Archives

September 18, 2010:  Poland continues to increase its defense budget, with next year's spending going up 7.1 percent, to $8.9 billion. This will mark a decade of setting the defense budget at 1.95 percent of GDP. In that time, Poland has been spending heavily to bring its forces up to NATO standards, helped along by a robust economy. This was accomplished by spending more on procuring Western weapons and equipment (new and used) and cutting personnel strength and the use of conscription.

A decade ago, the military had 185,000 troops and depended a lot on conscripts who were in for only a year. Now troop strength is down to 100,000 and, as of last year, conscription is gone. Civilian defense employees were also cut. The personnel cuts, and over 70 base closings, saved over a billion dollars a year. Also valuable was the retirement of old Soviet era equipment, which was expensive to maintain. This was especially the case with Russian warplanes, like the MiG-29. Now Poland is replacing them with F-16s. Second hand Leopard 2A4 tanks provide Poland with a more powerful tank than anything the Russians have. Most Polish tanks are Polish made upgrades of the T-72 (the PT-91). Most Polish forces are up to NATO standards, and all will be in the next decade. This is immensely reassuring to Poles, who have been threatened by their Russian neighbor for centuries.

 

 


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close