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Poland’s Meteoric Rise: From Soviet Satellite State to Europe’s New Military Superpower

With all the chaos present in our world, from regional conflicts to the global economic recession, In the midst of all this chaos, an eastern European nation is growing in silence, a nation predicted to surpass Great Britain by 2030 in terms of economic growth. There are even claims that this eastern European nation will likely become a European military superpower in the near future. This mysterious eastern European nation is Poland, a nation that was a former communist satellite state of the USSR during the Cold War. Ever since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the state of Poland has made several long-term economic policies that led to what many call the “post-communist economic miracle.”.

George Friedman, a geopolitical forecaster and strategist, highlighted in his book “The Next 100 Years” how Poland would become a dominant power in Continental Europe in the coming decades. He made this prediction back in 2009 and fast-forwarding to the year 2023, the nation of Poland is on the verge of becoming a dominant military power in Europe, where it will replace the traditional powers of France, the UK, Germany, and Italy. Poland in the coming years will acquire about 250 M1A2 Abrams tanks, 500 HIMARS Artelliry rocket systems, and about 96 Apache combat helicopters. These new military acquisitions are to be added to the extensive military inventory that the Polish military already has. Of all of the NATO member states, Poland is one of the highest spenders, where the minimum spending rate set by NATO for each member is about 2% of their GDP, whereas Poland is expected to spend about 3.9%, which is well above NATO’s requirement. In recent years, the Polish defense budget has been on the rise, mainly due to the ongoing escalations between Russia and Ukraine. Even with the recent elections in Poland, it is expected that defense spending will continue to rise, considering the ongoing global developments.

It is important to note that in recent years, Polish society has experienced rising nationalism, and the public is now hoping for a change in government domestic and foreign policies independent of foreign powers, particularly the core EU states. The increasing diversity within Poland due to the growing immigrant population has led to shifts in government policies, including restriction on immigration, higher defense spending, promotion of traditional Polish values, etc. The recent elections in Poland, where there will be a change from a right-wing government of the “Law and Justice Party” to a coalition of liberal opposition parties, will slow down nationalism a bit, but there are still doubts about a decrease in defense spending since the party is also interested in Poland having a stronger military considering the ongoing global developments. It remains to be seen how Poland will tackle the rising challenges that exist in the current geopolitical environment, but we also have to see whether this extensive military modernization program in Poland will be a win or a bust for the Polish people and their national interest. External forces will come into play to try and sabotage Polish military revival considering that if the modernization program goes well, Poland will become the second-in-command of NATO, which will be a huge blow for nations like the UK and France.

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