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Polish Military (Army) 2023

Poland Army
Polish Army

The Polish military, officially known as the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland, is the national defense force of the Republic of Poland.

  • Polish Army (Wojska Lądowe): This is the land operations branch of the military. The Poland army is mainly comprised of infantry soldiers and is supported by artillery, engineers, and other specialized military units.
  • Polish Navy (Marynarka Wojenna):  This branch of the Polish military is responsible for naval operations and defending Poland’s coastline. The Poland Navy has naval aircraft, battleships, and submarines as part of its military arsenal.
  • Polish Air Force (Siły Powietrzne): This branch of the Polish military is responsible for air operations. The Poland Air Force operates a variety of air defense systems, such as helicopters, jets, etc.
  • Polish Special Forces (Wojska Specjalne):  This branch of Poland’s military has units trained for special operations and unconventional warfare.
  • Polish Territorial Defense Force (Wojska Obrony Terytorialnej): This is the reserve component of Poland’s military.

Ever since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February 24, 2022, the Polish government and its military decisions have been on steroids. 

We have all seen the headlines. Poland is ordering record amounts of military equipment, weapons, and ammunition. They’re pumping record amounts of money into their military budget.

If Poland continues this trend, the Polish Army will be the most powerful standing army in Europe in the next 10 years.

Poland’s Role in European Support for Ukraine

Out of all of the European countries, Poland has been there for Ukraine by far the most. These two countries are like brothers now. Or, if you know anything about the tale of the three Slavic sisters and the origins of the Slavic people, they’re more like sisters now.

If other European nations were reluctant to accept Ukrainian refugees, Poland opened its doors, letting in everybody from Ukraine. The message was clear to Russia: Poland and Ukraine will be standing together, like one nation, throughout this war.

Polish Military Expansion in Response to the Crisis

What are the plans for the Polish Army in 2023 and the future?

  • The Polish Defense Minister has stated that they plan to double their military budget in 2023 and even increase it from there in the coming years.
  • The goal is to build up a great army that can withstand the shock of a Russian armed attack.
  • Poland is getting ready to be attacked; they’re getting ready for war.

Analysts believe such actions could make the Polish Army the strongest standing army in Europe.

Poland Army Future Projections

This is what the French defense website Meta Defense predicts about the Polish Army in the future.

Expected Future Composition of the Polish Army (2032)

Type of Military EquipmentQuantity
Modern Tanks1500
Infantry Fighting Vehicles1500
Mobile Artillery Units1200
Light Armor VehiclesSeveral Thousand
Poland Army

By these projections, Poland would exceed the combined arms capabilities of the French, Germans,  British, Italians, and Dutch.

Plans for 2023 and Beyond

In 2023, the Polish government intends to:

  • Spend three percent of the GDP on the military.
  • Grow their land army from four to six divisions, or up to 300,000 soldiers.

The current number of soldiers serving in the Polish Army is 115,000.

Table: Polish Army Plans

YearGDP Spending% of Soldiers Increase
20233%up to 162%

Poland’s Military Personnel Growth

YearNumber of Soldiers
Future (Planned)300,000
Poland Army

Poland’s National Defense Policy

The National Defense Policy excludes preemptive strikes, as it should in the European Union, but it seeks to deter any future aggression. The Polish military’s goal is to be so powerful that no army around them dares attack them.

Arms Industry and Foreign Partnership

Warsaw will not only rely on purchasing existing technology but also on partnerships that would boost the Polish national arms industry. Plans have been made to acquire United States tanks and helicopters, as well as High Mars missiles.

Polish Conditions for Arms Acquisition

Poland is not only buying weapons from all over; they have their own terms for buying those weapons. 

  • They have to be assembled on Polish soil. 
  • They want the jobs to stay in Poland when assembling the weapons for Poland, and they want to prepare their arms industry. 
  • They want to sell weapons outside of Poland in the future. 
  • They want to rival their Western European weapons industries.

Poland Army Weapon Assembly Conditions

Assembly LocationOn Polish Soil
Job RetentionJobs should stay in Poland
Industry GrowthPrep up their own arms industry

Future of the Polish Arms Industry

Other contracts have been signed with South Korea, including shipments of tanks and howitzers and 288 modern artillery rocket launchers. And as mentioned before, the important thing is that parts of these weapons will be assembled in Poland.

Implications and Concerns

  • Throughout the war in Ukraine, the European Defense Industries have been disregarded in favor of the U.S., UK, and South Korean weapons industries.
  • Poland is now led by a right-wing party. They have been accused by the European Union of anti-democratic moves.

Poland’s Political Conflict

For example, failing to comply with the division of power demand. In a democratic country, power should be divided so there is no corruption. 

This is a great political conflict going around between Poland and the European Union, going as far as the EU fining Poland for not meeting democratic requirements.

Current Status and Future Speculations

This is happening right now. So, we have this right-wing party making these anti-democratic moves—arming the country faster than the French retreated in the 1940s and building up their defense industry. This makes me ask a lot of questions.

Polish Affiliations and Priorities

It seems like for the leading party in Poland, it is much more important to be part of NATO than part of the European Union.

New Arms Deals

The new arms deals with South Korea and the USA are a clear indication that the leading party in Poland does not want to depend on the European Union’s defense guarantees anymore, and they don’t trust the EU as a defense guarantor.

Polish Military Alliance

Another factor that proves that Poland is moving away from the European Union’s defense guarantees was back in January, when Poland made an alliance with Ukraine and the UK. Neither of these countries is in the European Union. 

It seems like the ruling party in Poland sees the European Union only as a stepping stone towards liberal globalism, and they don’t like that word in the ruling right-wing party in Poland right now.

Alliances Formed by Polish Army

YearCountries Involved
January 2023Poland, Ukraine, UK

Opposition to Military Expansion

News of the military expansion has come under fire from the Polish opposition parties. While the opposition is unanimously supporting the move that allocates three percent of the GDP towards the military, the leading party in Poland right now wants to increase it to five percent.

Proposed Polish Military Budget Allocation

Party% of GDP for Military Budget
Opposition Parties3%
Leading Party5%

Potential Threats to Local Industry

Some former defense ministers in Poland have said that the current approach might damage the local industry.

Scandals and Controversies

A scandal involving the French Caracal helicopters dating back to 2016 has resurfaced, following a leak of old government emails that plotted smear campaigns against the French equipment. 

These Airbus helicopters were due to be delivered to Poland between 2017 and 2022. Whereas now the Polish government intends to buy Apaches from the United States. This change in deciding which helicopters to buy has happened outside of the usual bidding procedures.

Implications for Neighboring Countries

For Estonia, for example, it is very encouraging that their neighboring country, Poland, is making such strong military plans for the future.

Concerns About Anti-European Union Sentiments

But the leading party in Poland making these decisions is more and more anti-European Union. 

They’re being fined daily by the European Union for not complying with the democratic laws of the EU. Poland is a huge question mark. 

They are becoming more and more unpredictable. While we can all understand why they are militarizing so fast, their leading party’s anti-European Union views are worrying.

Polish Military Policy and Implications

Currently, Polish military policy does not include a preemptive strike or a first strike, but since there is less and less division of power, laws can be rewritten by the leading party. 

This policy can be rewritten, and then you have a country with the most powerful army in the world with the ability to just rewrite its laws.

Maybe they will see that, for their defense, a preemptive strike is necessary to put into the policy. If I were Belarus, I would be worried to my core. But if I were Lithuania, I would also be worried. Poland and Lithuania have had beef for a long time.

The Aftermath of the Russian Invasion in Ukraine

The Russian invasion of Ukraine might lead to the dissolution of Russia as a country when it is defeated in Ukraine. But it also led to the crazy buildup of the Polish military.

So then we have a weak Russia, a dismantled Russia, a weak Belarus, and an incredibly powerful Poland. This scares a lot of people in the EU, but right now, it is necessary to send a message to Russia.

Poland as a Regional Powerhouse

Poland will be the military powerhouse of the region, and time will tell how they will use this power to influence the countries around their borders.

Hope for Polish Alignment with the EU and NATO

The Polish Army might eventually stick with the EU and NATO, and I would love to see what these allies do in the coming years and decades.

George N.