STRATEGIC THINKING IS NEEDED
Wiesława Lewandowska talks with prof. Marek Jan Chodakiewicz about safety of Poland, an asymmetric war, Intermarium and ‘new Nuremberg’
WIESŁAWA LEWANDOWSKA: - Polish politicians have been comforting Poles and themselves for a long time that nobody will do anything bad to us, because America is on our side…
PROF. MAREK JAN CHODAKIEWICZ: - Those politicians are either demagogues or are infantile. One cannot rely on the United States, because they are also infantile. This is not an empire of evil, but an empire of stupidity. Yes, we Americans, are committing the sin of stupidity!
And it is said by a Washington conservative, not a leftist democrat?!
Absolutely! A permanent trouble of the Americans is that they are always forgetting, rejecting some issues….The Southern Vietnamese believed it because nearly 60 thousand Americans were killed in Vietnam and milliards of dollars were assigned to help this country, so they do not have to make any effort for anything, as it will always be the Americans’ help. And when the counter-culture appeared and leftist ideology got to the American Congress – everything was cut down, southern Vietnam was rejected. The United States, similarly as Poland, do not have – although a lot of people think so – a permanent and long-term strategy. There appears a question whether this strategy is possible in democracy at all.
If it is not possible, it is not essential, so in some countries in this sphere there are non-democratic institutions functioning within a civil and military intelligence. For example, in France this type of institutions ignore the civil political authority, thinking that these are traitors, thieves and leftist activists. French army is doing what it wants to such an extent that at the practical level there is no so-called civil supervision there either on the army or on special services. When in the Parliament there were suggestions of strengthening this supervision, suddenly in tabloids there appeared photos of a nephew of the president of the republic – who was a minister of culture then – being in a bawdy house in Thailand with little boys. And a discussion in the parliament ended….It is the way how issues are settled is there is no other way.
From time to time there appear ideas – whose main advocator is just France – about the necessity of creating a European army. What does Professor think about it?
Recently I have heard it from Viktor Orban. He told us: before that we were accused of having unrealistic ideas, now we are going to do impossible things, for example, create a European army as the American umbrella should not be the only one. Orban is self-confident. I think that it one can play such jokes when this American umbrella still exists…..Being asked by me who will command the European army the Hungarian prime minister answered, pointing to himself: we! He really knows the limits of European politicians and concluded that without any difficulty one can take over this business…
On one’s own or maybe within a project of Intermarium?
On one’s own. According to him Hungary are not the same as Poland or Baltic countries, which – in his opinion – are following anti-Russian phobia in an exaggerated way. Certainly, he understands historic past events and often says: ‘Poland is our friend’, but he emphasizes that he feels a closer relation with the Czech because of a similar attitude to Russia. And this is not all about only the issue of energy, but about the geopolitical choice. For Hungary it is important that Russia, not being communist, is not an ideological danger. So, facing up the ineptitude of European politicians, the prime minister Orban thinks that he can dare to suggest the Hungarian leadership of Europe.
So, isn’t the idea of creating Intermarium strengthening Europe and protecting central European countries, or creating a strong axis north-south hardly realistic, and which is expected by Poland so much?
Not really. Hungary, using the strength in inertia, is trying to create some infrastructural foundations of Intermarium. In Siedmiogród the prime minister Orban said to the local highlanders: Bucarest does not care about you, and it is us who will build you roads, railways, schools….This is just what I wrote about a long time ago, that it is necessary to build around borders. Although Orban is not a great fan of the idea of Intermarium, he is going to create it according to his own idea. But, first of all, he wants to build big Hungary, using the European vacuum. He is somehow a nationalist and thinks that he is a shark in the European fishless ocean, but, in fact, he is only an agile roach.
So, does Poland rely on Hungarian allies?
Poland should mainly rely on itself in every situation. And – I will say it lots of times – it is necessary to generate suitable political elites, as one person like Jarosław Kaczyński is not enough.
Whereas we are less worried about it…Recently one of Polish retired generals said that if Poles did not remove the Law and Justice party from the government, we would be threatened by a war with Russia soon.
But this Russian war is already taking place although it is not visible, because its main theatre are media and cyber-space. Not only Poles do not want to see it, but most of the American elite do not believe that something like that is happening. An exception here is the leftist narration that Władimir Putin made Donald Trump president which is nonsense. But this invisible war is being pursued literally at every level – the financial, cultural, informative ones. It is not necessary any more to take conventional military actions, like through skillful de-information in order to weaken the opponent. Therefore, for example, cunning Chinese are not trying to build a conventional army anymore, but are doing everything to win the Americans asymmetrically, in a partisan way.
And can they really win in this way?
It looks so. All conventional trainings conducted by America, the so-called war-like trainings show that it is us who are winning, whereas they are winning in the asymmetric, partisan war…So – it is not necessary to develop the costly conventional army but only these army structures should be created which in the present conditions – that is, in the world domineered by cyber-technologies – can give a real advantage. If a post-Soviet helicopter costs 100 million zlotys, it is surely better to invest in a much less expensive electronic weapon which will be easily overcome by this kind of a helicopter…
But, certainly, it would always be good to have a reserve which is possible to develop quickly, getting it adjusted to war actions. So, we should build good Ursus tractors in Poland for export, like to Saudi Arabia, and if it is necessary, we should transform them into tanks as soon as possible. But here it is necessary to think strategically which Poland lacks.
In Poland we are afraid of Russian tanks, but we are ignoring the cyber-war pursued by Russia, in which the Russians are considered as the masters of the world.
It is true that Poland is ignoring the cyber-war, whereas the Russians are not the best ones in it; surely they are worse than the Chinese, but in fact are better than any others. The Russians are good mainly in what is called stupefying others, de-information. It is clearly seen that in this war they are already achieving required effects.
Whereas the Germans are withdrawing their army and do not want to pay more for NATO. In Poland we do not know what to think about it, whether to worry or be happy…
It is clearly anti-American provocation. bunderwehr is practicing with brooms today, as its tanks and submarines are in a very bad state. Not because Germany has migrants and is short of money. It is not like that. The Germans are behaving with premeditation. Not long time ago did the German TV phone me to ask when president Trump would dissolve NATO. I answered that, certainly, president Trump would not do it and it is Germany which want to get freed from this NATO cap which is clearly restraining it. In relation to it, now we have a range of various provocations. Not paying for NATO is the most important one which makes the White House angry.
Or maybe we should be glad with the military weakening of Germany?
Not at all! We should recall that Hitler brought weakened Germany up to the very top during a few years. The current economic potential of Germany allows for this kind of a trick even more.
On the area of our country today we have NATO armies functioning in a rotation mode, but facing up the growing various dangers from the neighbouring powerful countries, Poland insists on installing permanent American military bases on its area. Would it really increase our security?
Yes, because permanent bases mean the presence of soldiers with families. In case of an attack – not only on American soldiers, but mainly on American civilians – the American society would be very angry and would demand a definite reaction from Washington.
Some people say that it was the easiest to move the permanent bases from German to Poland.
It must not be permitted! It is 70 years since the United States have been assigning enormous amounts of money for infrastructure, technology and staff of their German military bases. All this could be moved to Poland, maybe to the contentment of Germany, which feels more and more inconvenient by American presence. And this is just why it should not be done. Germany must know that it lost the war. We must remind it about it, as the Germans are doing everything and are using all methods to get free from the consequences of the Second World War. The permanent American presence in Germany is still necessary. And besides that, it is not possible to move that American medical base because its reconstruction in Poland would take at least a few dozen years.
So, the permanent American bases in Poland must rather remain a Polish daydream, mustn’t it?
Not necessarily. Because even if this kind of a solution is hardly possible, it is not necessary to be so worried about it. Rotational armies with a wide logistic facility (that is, a high number of civilian American workers of military forces) are already a sufficient protection. And besides that, America must have an important interest in it, so that American military bases could be installed in Poland.
And doesn’t America care about Poland so much at the moment? How is Poland perceived from the perspective of Washington?
The less it is seen, the better. Unfortunately, except for the fact that it is perceived as a place of ‘Polish concentration camps’, a place where ‘Polish Nazis’ are prevailing, very little is said about Poland in the USA. Anti-Semitism is still mentioned, and the unfriendly narration on Poland is still prevailing.
What could Poland do to break it?
I would like to see Polish politicians who could gain at least the sentiment of president Trump towards American Poland. During the presidency of Barack Obama it was difficult, nearly impossible. When president Andrzej Duda visited our Institute of World Politics during his stay in the United States, he was advised: Poland should unite the Intermarium and in this way, help America. Moreover, Poland, as a coordinator of this projected Intermarium, should organize ‘new Nuremberg’ as soon as possible – our institute could serve with organizational help – that is a big media circus under the motto ‘judgment over communist system’. It might help not only Poland in clearing its image from lies, but also American, possessed by the leftist system, where 85 per cent of students want socialism, and most students think that George Bush killed more people than Joseph Stalin! Unfortunately, to our astonishment, the Polish president did not decide to support this idea.
Translated by Aneta Amrozik
Niedziela 37/2018 (16 IX 2018)