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WARSAW — Poland’s ruling nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party has set off a safety storm by publishing components of a top secret protection plan as a part of a campaign spot aimed toward discrediting the opposition forward of the October 15 basic election.
“Attention! The Tusk government was ready to give up half of the country in the event of a war,” Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak mentioned in a video revealed by PiS on social media on September 17 — the 84th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s assault on Poland in 1939.
The minister was referring to a 2011 strategic protection plan ready by the previous authorities of then Prime Minister Donald Tusk. The former European Council President is now head of the Civic Coalition alliance that’s attempting to forestall PiS from successful an unprecedented third straight time period in energy.
“The plan assumed … that Poland could only defend itself for two weeks and the enemy will reach the right bank of the Vistula after seven days,” Błaszczak mentioned within the video.
His phrases have been accompanied by photographs of what appeared excerpts from the plan, its cowl — additionally featured within the video — bearing the “top secret” mark, now crossed out.
“The plan shows it clearly: Lublin, Rzeszów, or Łomża could have been the Polish Bucha,” the minister additionally mentioned, referring japanese Polish cities and to the Ukrainian city the place Russian troops final yr massacred a whole bunch of civilians.
The advert is designed to shore up PiS help within the east of the nation — its conventional heartland — by exhibiting that the liberals from Tusk’s party don’t care about them. It’s additionally aimed toward altering the narrative after a disastrous week for PiS that noticed the party scramble to keep away from questions on an alleged visas-for-bribes ring contained in the international ministry.
Not very top secret
Even although the protection plan isn’t present, publicizing some if its contents precipitated an uproar amongst top generals who have been in energetic service below administrations earlier than PiS. They famous that plans to fall again to extra defensive traces are regular components of army doctrine.
“Publishing such a document once again undermines the trust we have with our allies. It proves that we are capable of anything, that we can betray the deepest secrets of Poland and NATO,” retired General Waldemar Skrzypczak instructed the Wirtualna Polska information web site.
“Does anyone think that NATO will just get over this? They may now fear that more documents about the Alliance’s activities will be disclosed,” the overall added.
Mirosław Różański, former head of Poland’s joint chiefs of employees and now an opposition candidate to the higher chamber Senate, denounced Błaszczak, saying: “War is not a picnic or a show, you have to know how to do it.”
Another retired basic, Stanisław Koziej, mentioned that the army plans originated in 2009, when the president of Poland was Lech Kaczyński, the dual brother of PiS chief Jarosław Kaczynski, and was ready on the idea of paperwork issued by the federal government of Jarosław Kaczyński when he was prime minister in 2007.
POLAND NATIONAL PARLIAMENT ELECTION POLL OF POLLS
For extra polling information from throughout Europe go to POLITICO Poll of Polls.
Tusk’s former Defense Minister and present member of the European Parliament Radosław Sikorski mentioned that PiS was manipulating public opinion by highlighting only one state of affairs of a broader army plan within the occasion of a Russian invasion.
“The fact that the military has contingency plans for every circumstance and situation is a good thing, not a bad thing,” Sikorski instructed the gazeta.pl information web site on Monday. He added it was “scandalous” to disclose the plan as there are solely a restricted variety of defensible positions in Poland and so the technique nonetheless has intelligence worth for Moscow.
Civic Coalition mentioned if it wins the election, it can put Błaszczak earlier than the State Tribunal, a court docket used to strive the nation’s highest officers.
But Błaszczak was unapologetic concerning the fuss, tweeting that Tusk’s party “resents the fact that we have revealed their plans to hand over half of Poland to the enemy. Poles have the right to know what fate you were preparing for them! In the event of a conflict, the Polish army is supposed to fight for every meter of our territory and for every human life.”
Jarosław Kaczyński slammed the plan as “one big scandal that should be investigated by the methods foreseen by the justice system.”
PiS has made safety and nationwide protection a cornerstone of its reelection technique.
Defense spending is predicted to be 3.9 % of GDP this yr, one of many highest in NATO. Poland has stepped up arms purchases, spending billions on tanks, rockets, artillery, planes and helicopters from the U.S. and South Korea, as nicely as beefing up its home industries. The authorities additionally needs to greater than double the army to some 250,000 troops from the present 120,000.
Poland has despatched most of its Soviet-era tanks and jet fighters to Ukraine and is a essential transit hub for weapons from the remainder of the world headed to Ukraine.
PiS is forward in POLITICO’s ballot of polls, with 37 % help, whereas the Civic Coalition trails with 30 %. If that holds, neither party will win sufficient seats to rule with out coalition companions.