Poland unveils its new national defense strategy

AP News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2014 2:32 PM

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski on Wednesday signed into law a new national defense strategy aimed at addressing threats to regional security caused by two factors: the fighting in Ukraine and Russia's "intensifying policy of confrontation."

The 57-page strategy document replaces a plan drawn up in 2007 and involves defense, political and economy structures on all levels, including everything from local firefighters and reservists to professional armed forces and intelligence. It calls for greater protection of national borders, the economy and finance, art and electronic data.

However, the document contains few details about what will change in each sector, apart from the fact that they will be better operated, coordinated and equipped.

Komorowski told a news conference in Warsaw that details concerning Poland's military defense forces will be included in separate, classified documents that are still being written.

He did not discuss what Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak had told The Associated Press last month that Poland is planning a major reinforcement of its military structure in the east because of the conflict in Ukraine. Siemoniak provided no figures, but the move could involve thousands of troops.

Komorowski said the new strategy document, which was approved by the government last month and made public Wednesday, is a reaction to the things that have "changed for the worse to the east of Poland's borders, where an area of instability has emerged." Poland, once part of the Soviet bloc, borders Russia and Ukraine, where Russian-backed insurgents are fighting government forces.

The president said that by strengthening its defenses, Poland is contributing to the defense capabilities of NATO, which it joined in 1999.

The document says negative factors for the region's security involve Russia's "rebuilding of its power status at the expense of its surrounding" and its "intensifying policy of confrontation" as shown in its seizure of the Crimea Peninsula from Ukraine.