The Poles are beefing up their armed forces with the Defence Minister announcing he wants to form a 35,000 strong paramilitary force, and a regular army of 150,000 troops.
The move comes, says Warsaw, because of Russia’s behaviour in Ukraine, and its promise to form new military divisions along its western frontier with Europe. NATO is already deploying two extra US Marine brigades in the region in response to the Crimean annexation.
Russia has been making aggressive statements about the small Baltic states in recent months and military analysts admit that the NATO and EU members’ position is
indefensible should Moscow throw its armed forces at them in strength.
A bigger Polish army could provide a forward-deployed force that might slow any Russian advance long enough for NATO’s other resources to come into play.