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Poland’s ruling party releases top secret plan as campaign stunt – POLITICO

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WARSAW — Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party has sparked a security storm by releasing parts of a top-secret defense plan as part of a campaign spot aimed at discrediting opposition to the General elections on October 15 are approaching.

“Be careful! The Tusk government was ready to cede half of the country in the event of war,” Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak said in a statement. video published by PiS on social networks on September 17 — the 84th anniversary of the attack on Poland by the Soviet Union in 1939.

The minister was referring to a 2011 strategic defense plan prepared by the former government of then-Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The former European Council president now heads the Civic Coalition alliance that is trying to prevent PiS from winning an unprecedented third consecutive term.

“The plan assumed … that Poland could only defend itself for two weeks and that the enemy would reach the right bank of the Vistula after seven days,” Błaszczak said in the video.

His remarks were accompanied by images of what appeared to be extracts from the plan, its cover – also present in the video – bearing the “top secret” mark, now crossed out.

“The plan clearly shows: Lublin, Rzeszów or Łomża could have been the Polish Bucha,” the minister also said, referring to cities in eastern Poland and the Ukrainian city where Russian troops massacred the last year hundreds of civilians.

The ad is designed to boost PiS’s support in the east of the country – its traditional heartland – by showing that Tusk’s party liberals don’t care about them. The aim is also to change the narrative after a disastrous week for PiS, which saw the party scrambling to avoid questions over an alleged visa-for-bribes ring within the Foreign Ministry.

Not very secret

Although the defense plan is not current, the publication of some of its contents caused an outcry among senior generals who were on active duty under administrations preceding PiS. They noted that plans to withdraw to more defensive lines are an integral part of military doctrine.

“The publication of such a document once again undermines the trust we place in our allies. This proves that we are capable of anything, that we can betray the deepest secrets of Poland and NATO,” retired General Waldemar Skrzypczak told the Wirtualna Polska news site.

“Does anyone think NATO will just get over it?” They may now fear that more documents on Alliance activities will be leaked,” the general added.

Mirosław Różański, former Polish chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and now an opposition candidate for the upper house of the Senate, denounced Błaszczak, saying: “War is not a picnic or a spectacle, it you have to know how to do it. »

Another retired general, Stanisław Koziej, said the military plans emerged in 2009, when Poland’s president was Lech Kaczyński, the twin brother of PiS leader Jarosław Kaczynski, and were prepared on the basis of documents published by the government of Jarosław Kaczyński when he was prime minister in 2007.


For more polling data from across Europe, visit POLICY Poll of polls.

Former Tusk Defense Minister and current member of the European Parliament Radosław Sikorski said PiS was manipulating public opinion by putting forward a single scenario of a broader military plan in the event of a Russian invasion.

“The fact that the army has contingency plans for every circumstance and situation is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Sikorski told the news site on Monday. He added that it was “scandalous” to reveal the plan because there are only a limited number of defensible positions in Poland and therefore the strategy still has intelligence value for Moscow.

The Civic Coalition said that if it won the election, it would refer Błaszczak to the State Court, a court used to try the country’s highest officials.

But Błaszczak did not apologize for all the commotion, Tweeter that Tusk’s party “is unhappy that we have revealed his plan to hand over half of Poland to the enemy.” The Poles have the right to know what fate you are planning for them! In the event of conflict, the Polish army is supposed to fight for every meter of our territory and for every human life.”

Jarosław Kaczyński called this project “a great scandal which should be investigated using the methods provided by the courts”.

PiS has made security and national defense the cornerstone of its re-election strategy.

Defense spending is expected to be 3.9% of GDP this year, one of the highest in NATO. Poland has stepped up its arms purchases, spending billions on tanks, rockets, artillery, planes and helicopters from the United States and South Korea, and strengthening its domestic industries. The government also wants to more than double the military numbers, to bring them to some 250,000 men compared to 120,000 currently.

Poland has sent most of its Soviet-era tanks and jet fighters to Ukraine and is a crucial transit hub for weapons from the rest of the world heading to Ukraine.

PiS leads in the POLITICO poll, with 37 percent support, while the Civic Coalition lags behind with 30 percent. If so, neither party will win enough seats to govern without coalition partners.