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NATO must adapt to new challenges: Polish defence minister

07.12.2021 10:00
NATO must adapt to new security challenges and threats, the Polish defence minister has said, amid increased tensions between the Western military alliance and Russia and a migrant crisis on Poland's border with Belarus.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak.
Polish Defence Minister Mariusz Błaszczak. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

"The first two decades of the new millennium have proven the spectrum of security challenges in front of us is unlikely to narrow," Mariusz Błaszczak said in an opinion piece published by the defensenews.com website.

"Quite the opposite, on top of the 'usual' and relatively well-recognized ones, we are being confronted with an array of new threats, which we need to understand better," he added.

Błaszczak said in his piece that threats such as the "rapid development of emerging technologies, pandemics, deepening scarcity of key natural resources, acceleration of demographic processes" and climate change "cannot be tackled single-handedly" but "require a concerted international effort."

He argued that "a whole-of-government approach" was needed, "with the military component playing an increasingly active and important role."

He said: "Addressing the high dynamics of the global and regional situation will not be effective unless we continuously adapt. Our laws, institutions and mindsets must adapt. Our military must adapt. NATO must adapt."

Błaszczak further argued that "on the threshold of the third decade of the 21st century, NATO must go back to its roots and rebuild its capabilities for collective defense."

At the same time, "it needs to manage emerging, nonmilitary challenges that will have a tremendous impact on our security and readiness and may be detrimental to the core missions of the alliance," he asserted.

He pointed out that in his country "soldiers provide vast support to the Border Guard in sealing the Polish-Belarusian border" amid a migrant crisis, "thereby protecting our country and other NATO and EU members from destabilization."

Similarly, "the military will be more frequently used to mitigate energy supply issues and mounting supply chain backlogs," Błaszczak wrote.

He also said in his piece that Poland had embarked on "an ambitious plan" to streamline its military, starting with new regulations.

"We drafted a new law that will combine and update the existing laws and regulations, allowing for the introduction of a common defense concept; the increase of troops; simplification of the military service system; rebuilding of the reserves; and an improvement to the quality and efficiency of training," Błaszczak said.

He added that the new law was likely to take effect next year, marking "a new era" for the Polish armed forces.


Source: defensenews.com