War games

Gość Niedzielny: Imagine this situation: the Russians attack Poland. What ordinary poles?

Shatkovskaya Tomasz (Tomasz Szatkowski): We’ll surely know about the impending attack in advance. The aggressor seeks to use the element of surprise, so he can lead the preparation in secret, but with modern technology to completely hide the fact that he is preparing an attack impossible. On the other hand, we, of course, for many years did not pay attention to what the level of preparedness of the Russian armed forces gradually increased. But calm readers: NATO and Poland has drawn plans for such a situation. The response strategy for civilians also exists. We are rebuilding a system of mobilization, which was destroyed by the previous government during the so-called professionalization of the army. We believe that the defense will not fail us, and the enemy will not be able to invade deep into our country. Now in addition to our own capacities a key factor in security is the constant presence in our territory of military units of NATO and the United States.

— You used the term “professional army”. What it was and why this course criticize the new leadership of the defense Department?

— We are talking about the basic principles of the defense policies of the two previous governments, which were incorrect. Our security is ultimately affected. First, there was an axiom that in the immediate vicinity of Poland is not a threat. It is recorded in documents such as “the Concept of development of armed forces until 2030”. It explicitly States that we are moving away from the idea of the army focused on the defense of their own territory. Secondly, I held the idea that an army of professional soldiers, a more efficient recruiting of the army. This stemmed from the concept of an atomized society in which the army is not a force uniting the nation, but only one of the occupational groups. Finally, spread a misconception that quality is always more important than quantity. Meanwhile, the operational analysis shows that the number plays an equally important role. The reduction of the army led to the fact that we lost some of our ability.

— On what principles is based the defense strategy of the current government?

— First, we took a hard look at the level of national security, not embellishing it for political purposes. In our work we have used objective methods. What the previous government spent on an army of billions, but not preceded my steps serious analysis, it’s absolutely outrageous the fact.

— Even without in-depth analysis it is clear that the only real conflict that threatens us in the foreseeable future is a war with Russia. So, we are preparing for the clash with Moscow?

We are not prepared to encounter and want to prevent an invasion of the Russian aggressor. We do not plan to attack other countries. Our task — to prevent invasion and in case of need to repel the attack. We would like that our relations with Russia based on partnership and trust, but this will be possible only when Moscow refuses the aggressive plans and actions.

— What items are included in the strategy?

— We need to realize that we can’t defend ourselves, therefore, plays a key role for us the presence of NATO allies and the EU. We achieved the appearance of their forces on our territory and succeeded. However, we can’t afford all the time to rely on others, so we need to do to strengthen its own defence capabilities.

We will actually be able to resist the Russians?

Yes. The strategy that we have prepared for 15 years. If the financing of the army will increase as planned, so we will be able to bring the military budget up to 2.5% of GDP, for a couple of years to the specified timestamp will we be able to effectively defend themselves under the most likely scenarios. All worked out in war games and computer models. We proposed specific solutions, putting what forces should be developed, which — to give, what to upgrade, what equipment to purchase, what methods of warfare to use, given the terrain. We carefully figured out what is effective and what is not.

Are you talking about war games. Sounds like a game in the army.

This method is widely used, in particular, the Americans, the British or the Dutch. Events on the battlefield — is so complex a phenomenon that no computer technology to predict the dynamics of the conflict. They help to figure out what techs we lack.

— Talking about the strategy, the Minister of Macarevich (Antoni Macierewicz) listed the steps that will allow us to become self-reliant in defence. For example, Poland needs to buy four submarines equipped with long-range weapons. Do we have four ships to deter the Russians?

Is the first step and one element of the overall strategy. We strive to create a system of “restrictions on access and manoeuvre”, is also a form of warfare. The ships will become part of a large complex of forces, which will include also aircraft (in particular, squadrons of combat aircraft with anti-ship missiles, anti-submarine helicopters), ground plants (e.g., advanced missile systems) and drones. The challenge is to block enemy access to our territory or to hinder him from further maneuvers.

— The opposition accuses the Ministry of defence that it dismissed the best generals and officers, thereby lowering our combat capability. What criteria are used when upgrading commanders?

— Resigned about the same officers as under the previous government, just now around that made noise. The main criterion is always the professionalism.

© RIA Novosti, Alexei vitvitskiy | go to fotoreklama NATO in Warsaw

— Not loyalty to the ruling party?

Some generals, who retired from command positions and received other good posts. Some have decided to resign themselves, as, for example, General Miroslav Ruzanski (Mirosław Różański) is the author of the previous concept of command. He objected to our plans for reform and criticized the project of strengthening the Eastern regions of Poland, which suffered division, which he previously commanded.

— The sole criterion for dismissal was the service in the era of the Polish people’s Republic?

— Not the fact of service in this period, and the degree of dependence on Moscow and role in the construction of communism.

— Your father was also in those years a military pilot. Today it would be a barrier to service?

— I don’t think so, because he had no political functions, though not me, of course, appreciate. My father has long resisted entry into the Polish United workers party. In the end he did it (partly under the pressure of family situation), but never was there an activist. In his personal, as they say, was made mark, his Patriotic spirit is at odds with the internationalist policy of the party. So do not assume that all who served in the army until 1989, must leave its ranks.

— In the “Strategies” stated the need to bring the army under civilian control. This concept existed for a long time.

— We are not talking about formal control, and the real involvement of civil leadership in the adoption of key army decisions. The experience of many countries shows that this is the right direction.

— The idea about the civilians who run the army, may now be associated with the situation when soldiers saluted Mr. Misevich (Bartłomiej Misiewicz) (former press Secretary and head of political Cabinet of the Ministry of defence of Poland, which received disproportionate positions of influence, approx. transl.).

— Such situations should not arise, but the case blew too big a scandal.

— How do you work together with the Minister Makarevichem, which, as noted by the Chairman of the party “law and Justice” (PiS) Jaroslaw Kaczynski (Jarosław Kaczyński) is sometimes eccentric.

If I did not see prospects for fruitful cooperation, I would not have agreed to take the post of Deputy Minister. Anthony, Macierewicz is a very smart, extremely hardworking and enthusiastic people, behind which shoulders — wonderful life devoted to the service of the Motherland. He has his own opinion, but he is always ready to listen to the arguments of others.

— He changed his approach to any subject under the influence of your arguments?

— Yes, for example, to territorial defense. Before the government was formed, he treated the project skeptically, but under the influence of the arguments of many people, including mine, have recognized its usefulness. So it was with many other issues.

— How do you, the lawyer, took an interest in military Affairs?

In my family, was a strong military tradition, from her I learned the idea of service to the Motherland, respect for the uniform. The pilots were my father and brother, grandfather, and the grandfather served in the National Armed Forces (military clandestine Resistance organization in Poland during the Second world war and after it, — approx. transl.), a great — grandfather- in the home Army. I never felt that legal science is my calling. Therefore, after receiving a law degree, I decided to continue studying and chose a military-strategic profile. I studied at the Royal College of London and trained at other universities in the UK and the USA.

— When the first government of “Law and Justice” you have held many different positions, and after its dissolution in 2008, went on a pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish Santiago de Compostela. It was penance for his political sins?

— (laughs) You expect me to confession, I repented for serving bloody regime? Seriously, I had personal motives, also, it was a kind of cleansing after a busy period of study abroad and then work in government and military industry.

— Faith is an important part of your life?

— This is my Foundation. Everyone should ask himself the question why he lives, what is the meaning of what he is doing and what is happening around. I have these questions led to the belief.