What future for the Polish armies after the electoral defeat of PiS?

Like Turkey a few months ago, the outgoing government of Andrzej Duda and the PiS had made defense and the Polish armies one of the issues of this legislative election.

It is true that exposed to various corruption scandals on the one hand, and to increasingly significant tensions with the European Union on the other, the PiS lacked arguments to defend its record, apart from the immense effort undertaken to modernize and expand the Polish armies.

Defense at the heart of the 2023 Polish legislative elections

As polls all showed a close election between the center-left KO party and PiS, it became increasingly clear that the latter would not retain its absolute parliamentary majority, amid the risk of defeat by a center-left coalition led by Donald Tusk continued to grow.

In fact, in recent months, government announcements have multiplied from Warsaw through the voice of Defense Minister Marius Błaszczak, so that there has not been a week since last June without until a major contract has been announced launched or signed by Poland.

2011 Polish battle plans declassified by Marius Błaszczak

The pinnacle of the argument came when in mid-September, the Polish Ministry of Defense decided to declassify and disseminate battle plans dating from 2011, when Donald Tusk ruled the country. This was then based on a two-stage strategy, with an initial withdrawal under the Vistula, then a counterattack.

Donald Tusk elections 2023
Donald Tusk and the center-left coalition win the Polish legislative elections in October 2023.

According to the Polish minister, the dissemination of these plans, although they came from a completely different era when the threat had nothing in common with today, was essential to “understand the strategic vision” of his opponent.

A bitter defeat for PiS and a victory for Donald Tusk

Despite these arguments, widely repeated by the state media, the PiS will not have succeeded in reversing the poll curve. According to exit polls, he would only obtain 36,6% of the votes, and 198 seats in the Diet, the country's lower house.

His far-right ally, Konfederacja, would only obtain 6,5% of the votes, and 14 seats. Together, this coalition would only have 212 seats, far from the 231 needed to reach a majority.

For its part, the Civic Coalition or KO of Donald Tursk would have gathered 31% of the votes for 161 seats. With its allies Third Way (13,5%, 57 seats) and New Left (8,5%, 30 seats), the pro-European center-left coalition would obtain 248 seats, a comfortable lead to claim victory and form a new government.

Defense commitments and contracts made by Andrej Duda

If the new government will have a lot to do in many areas, the defense aspect will undoubtedly be the most difficult issue to take charge of and develop.

Polish Armies K2 Black Panther
The Polish Armies began receiving the first batches of K2 Black tanks Panther South Koreans ordered in 2022.

Indeed, in recent months, announcements and signatures of letters of intent and contracts have multiplied with numerous American, South Korean, British and, sometimes, European industrialists, with the objective of establishing, by by 2035, an army of 300.000 fully armed and equipped men.

A format for Polish armies of 300 men in 000

In fact, most of the commitments made by the Polish authorities over the past year are tailored to this objective and this format. So, there are 250 Abrams M1A2 tanks, and a thousand K2 Blacks Panther, which have been ordered, or are in the process of being ordered, by Warsaw.

In the field of artillery, the Polish armies undertook to command 231 South Korean K239 Chunmoo long-range rocket launcher systems and 480 American HIMARS systems. These must be supported by 96 AH-64E Apache combat helicopters, and 50 FA-50 light fighters.

In total, the commitments made by Warsaw in recent months are around €50 billion, of which less than 10% are with defense manufacturers from the European Union (mainly Italy and France).

The creation of a sovereign debt of 2% of GDP to finance the modernization of Polish defense

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