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Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

14 APRIL 2021

Poland Must Wake Up To The Threat Of German Hybrid War

Poland has been so focused on defending itself from the threats that it believes emanate from Russia that it’s become almost oblivious to the Hybrid War threat posed by Germany, which is arguably among one of the most pressing security concerns for the country considering its ongoing domestic unrest and the grand strategic interests that Berlin has in its outcome.

Manipulating The Polish Mentality

Poland is a proud nation that succeeded in doing the previously unthinkable by rising from the geopolitical ashes and restoring its long-lost sovereignty after 123 years of occupation by three neighboring empires. Its history is very complex and marked by a series of tragedies that have befallen the Polish people in the modern era. It’s therefore understandable why they’re suspicious of some of their larger neighbors, though these deeply rooted concerns are sometimes exploited by external forces for self-interested reasons that aren’t always in Poland’s interests. The perfect example of this in practice is Poland’s focus on defending itself from the threats that it believes emanate from Russia while inadvertently becoming almost oblivious to the Hybrid War threat posed by Germany, which is arguably among the most pressing security concerns right now.

Hybrid War, But From Whom?

The purpose of this piece isn’t to argue about whether Poland’s threat assessment of Russia is legitimate, exaggerated, manipulated, or whatever else, but simply to raise awareness of the fact that Warsaw would be wise to apply a single standard with respect to such threats irrespective of whoever might be responsible for them. Focusing almost solely on Russia in recent years due to regional events has distracted the country’s leadership and many in society from similar Hybrid War threats that ironically come from neighboring Germany. There’s no doubt that the Polish security services take Hybrid War very seriously, but in their desire to safeguard the country from such perceived threats coming from Russia, they’ve ignored the same ones that in some cases might be even worse and more destabilizing whenever they come from Germany.

Poles Or “Europeans”?

To explain, Poland is in the midst of an ever-intensifying intra-Polish struggle between two increasingly polarized camps, the pro-EU liberal-globalists and the pro-sovereignty conservative-nationalists. The first group is comprised of people who don’t even really consider themselves to be “Poles” anymore as much as they see themselves as “Europeans”, while the second are fiercely proud of the Polish identity that their ancestors struggled, sacrificed, and suffered so much to protect. Poland’s membership in the EU was beneficial for the country’s regional political status and greatly improved its economy. Nevertheless, this transnational structure was exploited by some in Brussels for ulterior motives related to their ideological desire to create a superficially more benign Soviet Union that could wrest control of its members’ sovereignty away from their own people.

Germany vs. Poland

The direct consequence of this scheme is that Poland found itself under unprecedented pressure in recent years after its leadership sought to protect its legitimate socio-economic and political interests from perceived threats related to Brussels’ hegemonic demands connected with illegal immigrants (so-called “refugees”), the rule of law, and other sensitive issues. Germany’s role in all of this is obvious since the Central European country acts as the bloc’s unofficial leader and masterfully manipulates its liberal-globalist architecture to serve its own interests at others’ expense. Berlin’s indirect hegemonic bullying via Brussels was preceded by a decades-long shadowy campaign to manipulate the Polish people through German control of their media and politicians. The intent was to gradually erase the Polish people’s identity and replace it with a “European” one.

PiS Spoiled Germany’s Secret Plans

Germany envisioned that the successful outcome of this Hybrid War would result in Poles – who by that point wouldn’t even consider themselves as such but solely as “Europeans” – willingly surrendering the rest of their remaining sovereignty to Berlin-backed Brussels in the interests of “European solidarity” or whatever other euphemistic slogan could be concocted in an attempt to “justify” this. The problem, however, is that Poland’s ruling conservative-nationalist party, PiS, put Polish interests above so-called “European” ones, which in turn prompted Germany to intensify its Hybrid War on Poland by activating its “sleeper cells” in the country. This took the form of the ongoing riotous unrest led by Berlin’s liberal-globalist proxies in the media, politics, and civil society who seek to turn the Hybrid War into an increasingly kinetic conflict in the streets.

Poland’s Hybrid War Nightmare

One of Poland’s worst security nightmares has shockingly come true, and that’s a foreign power having successfully infiltrated all levels of society for so long that it’s now capable of attempting a practical coup against the country. Unlike what most Poles feared, it’s not Russia that’s behind this plot with its so-called “little green men”, but neighboring Germany, which took advantage of Poles’ historical preoccupation with defending themselves from perceived Russian threats to clandestinely subvert national institutions in preparation of what they expected would be their “soft coup”. This Hybrid War is turning kinetic as the “soft” strategy failed due to PiS’ proactive defense of national interests, which prompted Germany to activate its “sleeper cells” in order to continue what Berlin started decades ago after 1989 since its grand strategic plans are now threatened.

German Hybrid War > Russian Hybrid War

The threat posed by the German Hybrid War on Poland is much more dangerous than any that could ever come from Russia. The country’s military alliance with the US serves as a credible deterrent to any so-called “Russian aggression”, and the Polish security services are always on the lookout for any hybrid threats posed by Russia. Germany, however, has succeeded in turning Poles against one another by manipulating their minds through the media and proxy politicians to the point that these fellow citizens no longer even regard themselves as “Poles”. Nevertheless, these “European” Poles are still Polish citizens with Polish rights, and so long as they follow the law, the security services can’t do anything to stop them. This problem went undetected for so long that the country now has millions of “European” Poles dedicated to opposing legitimate national interests.

Towards A EuroMaidan Worst-Case Scenario

The Polish people have therefore been deviously divided by the decades-long German Hybrid War on Poland, and the consequences will likely last for at least several generations. Each side is becoming more zealous in their beliefs as a result of the escalating clashes between their camps. Neither of them is backing down, and both are convinced in the righteousness of their respective causes. Thankfully, Poles are by nature a very peaceful people otherwise the worst-case scenario of EuroMaidan-like chaos might have already occurred. Nevertheless, such a dangerous possibility could still happen since the country is in the midst of what can objectively be described as an ongoing Color Revolution attempt, albeit a comparatively “soft” one than what other countries have experienced in recent years, at least for now.

Reversing The Dynamics

Poland is unable to adequately defend itself both because the problem is so widespread after being identified far too late to nip it in the bud like should have happened decades ago and due to the country’s international legal obligations under the EU. It therefore cannot resort to any so-called “heavy-handed approach”, especially since this would ominously be compared to the onset of the 1980s martial law situation that might subsequently further radicalize the pro-EU liberal-globalists, perhaps even up to the point of them becoming much more violent. That said, if PiS loses upcoming elections and the conservative-nationalists suddenly find themselves in the opposition, then there’s no guarantee that the then-new liberal-globalist government won’t use such means against them if the conservative-nationalists organize their own protests.

The Worst Is Yet To Come

It’s therefore impossible to predict what might happen other than to conclude that the country is caught up in one of its worst-ever historical crises even though few have yet to realize this, let alone its German origins. Poland’s hands are tied for the earlier mentioned reasons, especially since this is literally a struggle of Pole-against-Pole, even if one of the sides doesn’t even consider themselves Poles anymore but sees themselves as “Europeans”. Poles must therefore brace themselves because the worst is yet to come. These intra-Polish tensions won’t go away anytime soon. The best that can happen is that conservative-nationalist Poles are able to convince some of their wayward compatriots of the error of their ways and get them to return to their Polish roots, after which both sides can cordially debate their differences but with respect for national interests.

Concluding Thoughts

The present situation is untenable because the Color Revolution can’t legally be contained due to the “European” Poles’ constitutional rights as long as they don’t break the law while protesting. The same can be said about the conservative-nationalist Poles in the event that they suddenly find themselves in the opposition and become the new driving force behind protests. The saddest thing about this situation is that it was entirely avoidable had Poles been more aware of the Hybrid War threats posed by Germany instead of only focusing on the perceived ones emanating from Russia. By concentrating almost exclusively on the East, Poland made itself vulnerable to the same threats coming from the West. If Poland doesn’t win this German Hybrid War, then it’ll lose its sovereignty and cultural independence, thereby becoming its neighbor’s eternal vassal.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Poland, Germany, Hybrid War, Regime Change, Color Revolution, Russia, US, EU.


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These Six Megaprojects Are Poised To Turn Poland Into A Regional Economic Powerhouse

1 APRIL 2021

These Six Megaprojects Are Poised To Turn Poland Into A Regional Economic Powerhouse

Poland is poised to become a regional economic powerhouse upon the successful completion of six megaprojects: the Baltic Ring rail corridor, Świnoujście deepwater port, Vistula Spit Canal, E40 waterway, Central Communication Port, and Via Carpathia highway network.

Poland’s Six Megaprojects

Poland already enjoys the proud distinction of being the largest economy among the post-communist EU-member states, but it’s poised to become an even more pivotal regional powerhouse upon the successful completion of six megaprojects. These are the Baltic Ring rail corridor, Świnoujście deepwater port, Vistula Spit Canal, E40 waterway, Central Communication Port, and Via Carpathia highway network. Altogether, they aim to enhance Poland’s transregional connectivity potential as the leader of the “Three Seas Initiative” (3SI), an economic bloc of states that it co-founded together with Croatia in 2015.

The “Three Seas Initiative”

The 3SI’s purpose is to comprehensively improve linkages between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas. It’s American-backed but could also function as a means of facilitating China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) access into EU via the Beijing-owned Greek port of Piraeus, which the East Asian country wants to turn into the biggest in the bloc. The 3SI is an enormous undertaking that might very well take many years to bear fruit, but it’s still arguably among the main grand strategic ambitions of the Third Polish Republic. Its success is dependent on the completion of the six earlier identified megaprojects, which will now be concisely summarized.

Baltic Ring

The Baltic Ring rail corridor envisions circling its eponymous sea by bringing together Poland, the Baltic Republics, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. It would represent the modern-day manifestation of the Medieval Hanseatic League trade bloc. The Mediterranean will always remain the most important body of water in the EU, but the Baltic could quickly become the next most significant one from an economic perspective if these plans come to fruition. Taken to its maximum extent, it could even help create a new center of geopolitical gravity in the bloc.

Świnoujście Deepwater Port

As for the Świnoujście deepwater port, it’s expected to complement the Baltic Ring by enabling the Scandinavian countries and also those in the Western Hemisphere like the US and Brazil to directly connect their freight containers with Poland’s rail network, thus easing transshipment between their regions and the Central & Eastern European (CEE) space. With Poland as the centerpiece of this transregional route, it’s well-placed to handsomely profit as the CEE becomes more important for global trade and investment. It’s noteworthy to mention that Świnoujście also hosts a recently constructed LNG terminal too.

Vistula Spit Canal & “Viking Silk Road”

Moving eastward along Poland’s Baltic coast, its Vistula Spit Canal project will enable the country’s economic partners to directly access the Vistula Bay without having to pass through Russia‘s Baltiysk. This is significant since it improves the viability of its E40 waterway (also known as the “Viking Silk Road”) plans to pioneer a riparian corridor through Belarus and Ukraine en route to the Black Sea. The latter project has some serious environmental concerns, however, because it passes through the Chernobyl exclusion zone. This is the riskiest of all six of Poland’s 3SI megaprojects, but perhaps the most geopolitically exciting if Warsaw can pull it off.

Central Communication Port

Reorienting more towards the center of the country, the Central Communication Port (also called the Hub by some) was recently included alongside the Vistula Spit Canal as an important part of Poland’s National Recovery Plan. The Hub envisions the creation of an integrated air, rail, and road junction to serve as the one of the CEE region’s main connectivity points. It’s absolutely indispensable for actualizing Poland’s 3SI vision, which is why it’s being prioritized. This project will also integrate all parts of the domestic economic more closely, further improving Poland’s attractiveness vis-a-vis its regional peers.

Via Carpathia

Finally, the last of the six megaprojects is the Via Carpathia highway network which intends to connect Poland to the Eastern Balkans. In practice, its pairing with the Baltic Ring will enable the creation of an Arctic-Mediterranean Corridor, which perfectly complements China’s BRI plans. It’ll also result in Poland becoming a leading economic player in this comparatively destitute corner of the continent. Over time, the cumulative influence that the country acquires there could help position the 3SI as a more confident political player in the event that its members more closely integrate with one another in all respects.

Concluding Thoughts

In view of the six examined megaprojects, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about Poland’s economic future. The country is rapidly rising to the fore of European transregional connectivity processes, which makes it triply attractive for the EU, US, and China. With economic weight comes political influence, so it’s taken for granted that Warsaw will attempt to wield more power within the highly strategic 3SI space. It remains to be seen what the strategic impact of this will be, but one can only hope that it’ll increase stability in this part of Western Eurasia and not provoke geopolitical competition with other players such as Russia.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Poland, Three Seas Initiative, 3SI, EU.


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Poland’s Anti-Russian War Game Failure Proves That A Paradigm Change Is Needed

26 FEBRUARY 2021

Poland

Poland’s reported failure in last month’s anti-Russian war games proves that the country cannot defeat the Eurasian Great Power in a conventional conflict, which should thus inspire a paradigm change of thought about the future of Warsaw’s present policy towards its neighbor.

Poland’s Unsurprisingly Disastrous Anti-Russian War Games

Media reports streamed in earlier this week claiming that Poland disastrously lost its latest anti-Russian war games last month, so much so that the exercise allegedly ended with Moscow’s military forces on the banks of the Vistula fighting for control of Warsaw after just five days of virtual hostilities. This isn’t so-called “Russian propaganda” like some might instinctively claim as they usually do in response to any “politically inconvenient” development that happens in Europe nowadays, but was even reported on by The Center for the National Interest, a prominent US think tank. RT’s Scott Ritter and the Strategic Culture Foundation’s Patrick Armstrong also wrote insightful commentary about those reports, arguing that they could become a self-fulfilling prophecy and that Poland is being exploited as an American lab rat, respectively. These are thought-provoking observations, but what’s needed in order to have a more complete picture of the situation is a credible action plan for Poland to follow in the future, ergo the purpose of this analysis.

A Long-Overdue Lesson

The long-overdue lesson that must be learned from Poland’s reported failure last month is that the country cannot defeat Russia in a conventional conflict, not even with state-of-the-art American arms like the exercise incorporated into the scenario despite them not even having been delivered yet. While it might comfort the sensitive Polish national psyche to know that they have such weapons in their possession, they’ve thus far proven to be incapable of serving their intended purpose, which is to deter so-called “Russian aggression” in the extremely unlikely event that it ever happens. About that, while it’s understandable why Poles historically distrust Russia and most folks across the world are familiar with the quip that “history rhymes”, there’s no credible chance that the Eurasian Great Power will invade the Central European country nowadays. It arguably has the military capabilities to do so, but the intent is lacking, both due to the fact that attacking a NATO member would likely trigger World War III and also because Russia doesn’t have any reason to do so anyhow.

Debunking The “Russian Invasion” Myth

Even those who are casually familiar with the complicated history of Russian-Polish relations know that Poles will never accept being militarily occupied by their regional rival. Russian strategists also know this as well, hence why they’d pragmatically regard the fearmongered scenario of annexing Polish territory as unsustainable, thereby making it an impossibility. It wouldn’t accomplish anything for their country. Russia has no need for additional territory just for the sake of it, nor is there any reason to forcefully incorporate foreign citizens into one’s nation who don’t want to be a part of it. It’s a lose-lose for Russia regardless of whichever way one looks at it. The only semi-plausible scenario that some might speculate about is that Russia would launch a preemptive strike against Poland if it was convinced that Warsaw was about to imminently attack its forces in Kaliningrad in coordination with Washington’s and the rest of NATO’s. Even then, however, the attacking forces could be adequately dealt with without Russian troops entering Polish territory, let alone marching on Warsaw.

The Dangerous Russian-Polish Security Dilemma

The problem at play here is that Russia and Poland are trapped in a dangerous security dilemma that’s largely provoked by historical distrust and the pernicious influence of the US. Both sides fear, whether rightly or wrongly, that the other might launch a preemptive strike against them. Russia’s concerns are more legitimate than Poland’s considering NATO’s recent regional military buildup and the occasional publication of provocative so-called “reports” and “studies” about the possibility of seizing Kaliningrad. As for Poland, its fears are based mostly on historical experience and its leadership’s consequent predisposition towards expecting the worst of Russian intentions no matter what. The American angle is relevant insofar as the US provokes Poland’s paranoia for the purpose of exploiting its territory as a springboard for strengthening its offensive military positioning vis-a-vis Russia in advance preparation of any worst-case conflict scenario. Poland willingly goes along with this because it believes that it’s in its best interests, once again, whether rightly or wrongly.

Is America A Reliable Ally?

The most objective conclusion that one can make from the recent reports about Poland’s disastrous showing in last month’s war games is that the country’s policy of bolstering its conventional military capabilities has failed to achieve its purpose in defending against so-called “Russian aggression”. This “politically inconvenient” reality should inspire a paradigm change of thought about the future of Poland’s policy towards Russia. It’s needlessly expensive to continue along the present trajectory when the latest war games prove that this military-driven policy probably won’t ever succeed in delivering its expected results. In fact, one should ask why this policy is even being pursued in the first place if Poland truly has faith in the US’ commitment to Article 5 of the NATO Charter mandating all members to rush to each other’s aid upon request. Considering the capriciousness of some American Presidents, it might be the case that Poland doesn’t feel comfortable putting its entire security in the US’ hands, instead hoping to hold out in the event of a war long enough to pressure its ally to finally act.

Something For Poles To Ponder

That would explain the focus on improving its conventional military capabilities instead of relying solely on NATO’s nuclear umbrella as the ultimate deterrent against so-called “Russian aggression”. This observation is certainly provocative and will probably be angrily contested in public by most Poles, but upon pondering it, there definitely seems to be some truth within it that’s worth considering even if Poles don’t publicly admit it. Be that as it may, it’s important to return to the point that the only realistic chance of war between Russia and Poland would relate to their security dilemma dangerously spiraling out of control. With that in mind and remembering that Russia lacks any reason to invade Polish territory or strike it first unless it feared an imminent attack, the onus arguably falls on Poland to take the first step towards lessening this dilemma, perhaps by not so actively courting US and NATO troops into the country. This is especially the case when it comes to their presence in close proximity to Kaliningrad and Russia’s CSTO mutual defense ally Belarus.

Hybrid Competition In The Post-Soviet Borderlands

That’s not to say that Russia and Poland should — or ever can — “trust” each other, but just that it’s of the highest importance that no war is sparked by miscalculation from either side, which in the most likely case could result from Moscow’s legitimate misunderstandings about the purpose of foreign troops on Polish soil so close to it and its Belarusian ally’s borders. In reality, Russia and Poland will likely remain locked in a hybrid competition with one another for the indefinite future over the countries within their overlapping envisioned “spheres of influence”, Belarus and Ukraine. These two states sit in between Moscow’s Eurasian Union & CSTO (with Minsk being part of both while Kiev’s post-coup pro-Western government is in neither) and Warsaw’s “Three Seas Initiative”, thus making them the geopolitical fault lines of the New Cold War‘s European front. Neither Russia nor Poland is likely to back down from pressing their respective claims of influence which they both regard as inextricable components of their national security strategies.

Keeping The Russian-Polish Hybrid Competition Non-Kinetic

Even so, this predictably prolonged hybrid competition doesn’t have to go kinetic, let alone in a conventional military way like Poland fears that it might. Its ongoing military modernization program should be completed since the budget has already been allocated and the country’s long-term planning is predicated on this eventual outcome, but in the run-up to that milestone being met, Poland should consider a paradigm change of thought regarding its relations with Russia. Those two states are already in a state of unconventional conflict with one another through hybrid means in the Belarusian and Ukrainian “borderlands” between them which doesn’t require any further conventional military involvement on either side beyond their present posturing in this respect. It’s veritably in both of their interests to manage the dangerously spiraling security dilemma between them in order to offset the mutually disastrous scenario of a war by miscalculation, hence the need for Poland to consider how it could take the first step to bring this positive outcome about.

Poland’s Peacemaking Prerogative

There’s no shame in Poland doing so either since it should actually be regarded as a matter of national pride if the country took the initiative to pragmatically manage its military relations with Russia, especially considering the grand strategic importance of such a move with respect to global security, to say nothing of its more immediate effect on Europe. Poland aspires for leadership status within Europe, but won’t ever obtain this so long as it continues reacting to others, in this case its perception of the supposedly imminent threat of so-called “Russian aggression” and pressure upon it by its American ally to respond through a more robust conventional military buildup that only serves to exacerbate its dangerous security dilemma with Moscow (which itself should in theory be moot due to NATO’s nuclear umbrella). By proactively taking the initiative to peacefully manage its security dilemma with Russia, Poland would prove its political maturity, strategic independence, and continental leadership capabilities.

Concluding Thoughts

The paradigm change of thought that Poland must commence in response to its reported failure during last month’s anti-Russian war games is to seriously reconsider the wisdom of doubling down on its conventional military “deterrence” capabilities since these are inadvertently provoking an increasingly dangerous security dilemma with Moscow. It would be one thing if the recent war games predicted a Polish military victory in the event of a conflict between the two, but since it actually resulted in the exact opposite, this shows that Poland’s present policy hasn’t succeeded with its intended purpose. Both countries will likely remain locked in a hybrid competition with one another for the indefinite future over Belarus and Ukraine, but this dynamic could continue without the need for worsening their conventional security dilemma. Seeing as how Poland aspires for regional leadership status, it should consider taking the first step to manage its mutually disadvantageous security dilemma with Russia in the interests of global peace and security.

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By Andrew Korybko

American political analyst

Tags: Poland, Russia, US, Belarus, Ukraine, NATO, Kaliningrad.


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EUROPE:

POLAND:

  • Poland sees threat as Russia reinforces its Baltic Fleet stationed in Kaliningrad. Russia claims that it has strengthened its forces in the region with new ships, tanks and missiles due to increased NATO presence in the Baltic States

SOURCE: REMIX NEWS


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Geopolitical conflicts

Europe

EUROPE

  • Poland fined Russia’s state-owned energy giant Gazprom $7.6 billion (6.5 billion euros) for building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, saying the project hurts Polish consumers and increases Europe’s dependence on Russian imports. Gazprom said it will appeal the decision.

SOURCE: SF CHRONICLE

 

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Europe (Nord Stream 2)

EUROPE:

  • NORD STREAM 2: Three powerful U.S. senators and the Trump administration want to halt Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline by imposing sanctions on a Baltic port that is supplying the project, which is 94 percent complete. The Trump Administration, supported by Poland and the Baltic nations, has long opposed the pipeline, seeing it as an instrument for Russian leverage over Germany, Ukraine and Central Europe.

SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES

 

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EUROPE:

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hinted that sanctions may be in store for Belarus following the state’s heavy-handed response to opposition protesters. US would attempt to lean on its “European friends” to join the possible punishment. Poland, Latvia and Lithuania have already threat to impose sanctions to Belarus.

SOURCE: RT

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Anti-Goverment Protests

Belarus

BELARUS:

  • BELARUS:  Mass protests broke out in major cities across Belarus as authorities said long-time President Alexander Lukashenko was on course to secure a sixth consecutive term following an election that the opposition said was rigged. At least one person was killed and dozens were injured in clashes between police and protesters. Lukashenko said that protests had been orchestrated by Poland, the United Kingdom, and the Czech Republic.

SOURCES: DWTASS