Defense opportunities in Poland

Jacob Andra
Multilingual January/February 2017
Core Focus

According to a report by the Center for European Policy Analysis, “Poland is in the process of emerging into the globally competitive defense sector.” Translation: Poland’s own defense sector has some catching up to do. Consequently, Poland looks to international firms for many of its acquisitions.

“Time is not on Poland’s side,” the report concludes, and Poland seems to recognize that reality. Thus, the scramble for defense modernization. In addition to dishing out defense contracts, the country has incentivized foreign defense partners to share their technologies. And, in a development unusual in the defense sector, foreign firms have obliged....

Poland’s involvement in joint deterrence programs continues to expand. The country has committed to become a framework nation for NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force. The framework nation concept, introduced to NATO by Germany in 2013, involves cohesive multinational military units. Smaller armies could plug their remaining capabilities into an organizational backbone provided by a larger, framework nation. By providing such a framework, Poland will serve as a hub for a military consortium of specialist forces from various NATO members. In theory, this allows the proficiencies of each nation’s military to complement the others, resulting in a synergistic force more well-rounded than that which could be assembled by any one constituent member state. The scheme is also attractive because it distributes cost and human contribution, making a lower barrier to entry for small players. All of this, of course, is hypothetical; the framework concept has yet to be tested on the battlefield (one would hope, perhaps, that it never will have that opportunity).

The Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, as its name suggests, will deploy on short notice, and would serve as an initial onslaught in the event of actual war. Containing about 5,000 warfighters, the force will launch proactively following the first warnings and indicators of potential threats, before a crisis begins, to act as a deterrent to further escalation.

However, “funding issues and decision-making challenges” threaten to prevent the task force from becoming a reality, according to a March 2016 article in Atlantic Council....