Monday, September 9, 2013



Poland in Red, Image Wikipedia Commons

Editors note 8/1/2014; The first three of the slated nine war ships are nearing completion.

Poland sits near the southern end of the Baltic Sea, Russia's out let to the Atlantic which is surrounded by nations that aren't exactly fans of Russia given past history. Some of these Baltic nations are members of NATO, some are NATO cooperative, some independent of any military alliances, none are reliable allies of Russia. Poland is a NATO member. Their ministry of defense is pushing plans to expand Poland's Navy despite general spending cuts throughout government. This makes the United States happy since we are always in favor of our NATO partners taking on more of the burden of defense, especially now while we are on the "Pivot to the Pacific" and apparently trying to pay America's staggering debts out of the defense budgets. Russia on the other hand is never very happy about new NATO hardware, especially naval hardware on the Baltic.

 According to Polish radio this week the defense ministry will sign contracts for the first of three new mine hunters. These small war ships are of the KORMORAN II class and will be built in Gdansk by the Remontowas ship yard. Also on the drawing/budget planning board are three coastal defense vessels and three smaller patrol boats for a total of 9 new builds for the surface fleet with no surface ship retirements scheduled within the delivery time line. Three new diesel submarines of German design are in the works. Despite the new naval acquisitions, the defense ministry is scheduled to make a 739.9 million Euro overall budget cut this year. Clearly Poland made a distinct choice to beef up its navy.

 Prioritizing the maintenance of a navy is a constitutional mandate upon the U.S. Congress, but the sequestration arrangement and certain ill conceived statutes cause us to presently make across the board cuts that disproportionately negatively affect naval readiness at a time when our Navy is over tasked. Now if the English speaking nations of the world would just take a lesson from Poland we might all be able to breath more easily, maybe even Russia which has nothing to gain from the Dragon's rapid expansion. Russia is actually cooperating in the Black Sea with NATO member Turkey as previously reported. All of Russia's access to the sea is either constrained by geography or seasonally by ice. Being a cooperative partner with NATO actually makes sense if we can all remember that the Bear's concerns with its ability to put to sea are real and legitimate. So far, as in Syria where we disagree with Russia we have not acted to block the entrance of her naval vessels into the Mediterranean. It could be in coming days that our position on Syria may close a bit more with Russia's. NATO and RUSSIA don't have to be adversaries and build ups like Poland's should be viewed by Russia in light of the shrinking and redeploying American Navy. Poland is acting responsibility. Poland is leading by example. Poland has chosen wisely in favor of keeping the peace.   

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