Poland is best hope for Afghan force

#1
The Polish defence ministry said Warsaw, which has announced plans to withdraw its 900 soldiers from Iraq, was in talks with its Nato allies about where and when they would be deployed in Afghanistan. Poland, which has about 100 troops in Afghanistan, has already announced it will send about 900 extra soldiers to the country from 2007.

Diplomats said it might be possible to speed up the Polish deployment. One Nato official said: “We are close to getting substantial contributions from at least two European countries not currently in the south [of Afghanistan].”


Article in full

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/1d6883f2-4357-11db-9574-0000779e2340.html

and on a personal note I hope that when the Poles do deploy some of the REMF bigotry uttered against Poles in the UK on ARRSE declines.
 
#2
armchair_jihad said:
[on a personal note I hope that when the Poles do deploy some of the REMF bigotry uttered against Poles in the UK on ARRSE declines.
I'll second that.

Anyone contemplating slagging off the Polish people should first visit, for example, the Polish pilots Battle of Britain memorial near Northolt, or the graves of Polish soldiers at Arnhem, or Monte Cassino, or Alamein . . .

and then remind themselves that of all Europe's peoples hit by the Nazis (because WE failed them at Munich), and then by the Soviets, the Poles arguably suffered the worst, right up until the USSR fell apart.
 
#3
Well said.

I've got a number of Polish friends and ion my experience they are, without exeption, cracking people. They don't even hold a grudge about the way we've repeatedly hung them out to dry.

If their army turns out to be manned by soldiers with the same hard-working attitude and professionalism I've seen in the Poles I've worked with it should take a lot of pressure off our own boys.

(PS, Our original reason for getting involved in WW2 was the restoration of Polish self-determination. Did we achieve our objective? err...no.)
 
#4
Stonker said:
armchair_jihad said:
[on a personal note I hope that when the Poles do deploy some of the REMF bigotry uttered against Poles in the UK on ARRSE declines.
I'll second that.

Anyone contemplating slagging off the Polish people should first visit, for example, the Polish pilots Battle of Britain memorial near Northolt, or the graves of Polish soldiers at Arnhem, or Monte Cassino, or Alamein . . .

and then remind themselves that of all Europe's peoples hit by the Nazis (because WE failed them at Munich), and then by the Soviets, the Poles arguably suffered the worst, right up until the USSR fell apart.


In terms of casualties both civilian and military combined related to the size of the population, Poland suffered the worst of all the players in WW2.
 
#5
Radio 4 are now reporting that the Poles have volunteered 1000 troops for the stan, to be deployed by february 07.

It appears Her Rumsfeld was right about old and new Europe :wink:
 
#6
Stonker said:
armchair_jihad said:
[on a personal note I hope that when the Poles do deploy some of the REMF bigotry uttered against Poles in the UK on ARRSE declines.
I'll second that.

Anyone contemplating slagging off the Polish people should first visit, for example, the Polish pilots Battle of Britain memorial near Northolt, or the graves of Polish soldiers at Arnhem, or Monte Cassino, or Alamein . . .

and then remind themselves that of all Europe's peoples hit by the Nazis (because WE failed them at Munich), and then by the Soviets, the Poles arguably suffered the worst, right up until the USSR fell apart.
Here here - Poland lost 20% of her population under Soviet and Nazi occupation and Polish workers here under the Freedom of movement of workers within the EU are universally praised for their work ethic.

Maybe our NATO partners are more enlightened in their strategic thinking and long-term planning than our own Politicians are!

In fact, many corrupt third world dictators are more clear-headed than the vermin that we elect!
 
#7
Correct me if I am wrong chaps , but wasnt it the Polish pilots who downed the most ''Hun'' aircraft (pro rata) of all the commonwealth/non-British pilots . Park wanted them to remain un-operational during the Battle of Britain ,however due to the losses of pilots Park had no option ,other than to let them crack on . Although the Poles did have a ''nasty'' habit of shooting the baled out Jerry pilots whilst in there parachutes.
 
#8
Radio 4 yesterday broadcast the results of a survey of Polish workers in the UK. The vast majority were positive about their reception here but said that they did not find the British generally hard-working.

Interestingly, the did not want the same rights extended to Romanians and Bulgarians on EU-accession as were to them.

I remember a 1980s TV documentary about the last British run 'camp' for expatriate Poles, a relic of WW2 provision but a token of Britsin's enduring commitment to the Poles. The historic ties between the UK and Poland are far stronger than with the Balkans and perhaps should be recognised and celebrated by both sides.

Boringly, apparently there are proportionately more surnames begining with Z in Scots than in English telephone directories because of where the Free Poles were based in WW2 and where many chose to settle thereafter.
 
#9
Hear, hear! I lived in Warsaw for 6 months in the early 90s and, almost without exception, the Poles were cracking people. Once they found out you were English, they couldn't do enough for you (and they especially liked my attempts to speak Polish...). They certainly like the p1ss as well, as many a dodgy night in the Black Cat (the nightclub under the Holiday Inn in the centre of Warsaw) will testify.
 
#12
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/5344596.stm

Poland to boost Nato Afghan force

Nato has commanded the Isaf peacekeeping force since 2003
Poland has announced it will send 1,000 troops to Afghanistan next year as part of the Nato peacekeeping force there.
They will join 100 Polish soldiers already on the ground in Afghanistan, but will not arrive until February.

The announcement comes after Nato generals met on Wednesday to demand an extra 2,500 troops for the operation in southern Afghanistan.

Nato forces in the south are facing mounting casualties as they engage in fierce fighting with the Taleban.

There are at least 18,500 foreign, mainly Nato soldiers in Afghanistan in addition to about the same number of US troops deployed.

Half of them are in the south where Canadian and British forces are sharing the burden with US aircraft support and special forces on the ground.

Maintaining momentum

The Nato commanders wanted a battalion of troops to make up a reserve force in Afghanistan - a battle group which could be moved around as required to help take more of an offensive against the Taleban, the BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul said.

Poland understands that Nato will have to be more active in Afghanistan. We are well aware of that, and that is why we decided to increase the size of the force

Defence Ministry spokesman Leszek Laszczak
The fighting in southern Afghanistan continues to be intense and commanders there wanted reinforcements almost immediately to keep the momentum of their operations going and to help their mission, which they admit is stretched.

"We know this will be a dangerous operation," defence ministry spokesman Leszek Laszczak said when announcing the extra troops.

"Poland understands that Nato will have to be more active in Afghanistan. We are well aware of that, and that is why we decided to increase the size of the force," Mr Laszczak added.

According to Defence Minister Radoslaw Sikorski the Polish troops will primarily take part in operations in the east of Afghanistan.

Iraq question

Poland is a staunch ally of the United States and it currently has about 900 soldiers in Iraq, leading a multinational force south of Baghdad.

ISAF TROOPS IN AFGHANISTAN

Total Isaf troops - 18,500
Contributing nations - 37
Isaf - International Security Assistance Force
*A further 18,000 non-Isaf, US-led troops also in country


Regional press concern
Send us your comments
Mr Sikorski insists that even though Poland has indicated that it is set to reduce its troop numbers in Iraq, this further deployment to Afghanistan does not mean Poland is quitting Iraq.

"No decision has been made on that," Mr Sikorski said.

The announcement comes while Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski is on a three-day visit to the US, which included a brief meeting with President George W Bush on Wednesday.

However, since the Polish troops will not be arriving until February, our Kabul correspondent says pressure will continue to be put on countries already supplying significant forces to Afghanistan, but which lack the political will to join the fighting in the south.

Aircraft, both fixed-wing and helicopters, are also an essential part of the reinforcements which the Nato supreme commander has asked nations to contribute.

The International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) needs to be seen to be winning the war against the Taleban before the onset of winter, when the fighting will slow down, our correspondent says. But without the extra troops they wanted straightaway, that could be more difficult.
 
#13
Fantastic to see us working again again with some of our bravest allies from WW2. Also, their lads may have a cousin or two over here who might knock 10% off the price of my new patio...
 
#14
Stonker said:
armchair_jihad said:
[on a personal note I hope that when the Poles do deploy some of the REMF bigotry uttered against Poles in the UK on ARRSE declines.
I'll second that.

Anyone contemplating slagging off the Polish people should first visit, for example, the Polish pilots Battle of Britain memorial near Northolt, or the graves of Polish soldiers at Arnhem, or Monte Cassino, or Alamein . . .

and then remind themselves that of all Europe's peoples hit by the Nazis (because WE failed them at Munich), and then by the Soviets, the Poles arguably suffered the worst, right up until the USSR fell apart.
Don't forget the LWP, saw some fierce fighting in the East, and were some of the first units into Berlin (poetic justice me thinks)

Poles in Soviet Service Link
Edited to add Polish link)
 
#15
Poland has always been a friend to us.

We have not always done the best by them, but thats what good friends are like.

The bottom line is we respect each other.
 
#16
No one seems to have mentioned this is the 2nd time that Polish Forces have been committed to Afghanistan.

I've met Polish veterans of the previous unpleasantness in Kiplingland, it is very possible some Afghanivets are still serving in Polish Armed Forces.
 
#17
wessex_warrior said:
They don't even hold a grudge about the way we've repeatedly hung them out to dry.

(PS, Our original reason for getting involved in WW2 was the restoration of Polish self-determination. Did we achieve our objective? err...no.)
A little harsh Wessex. Although the irony isn't lost on me, WWII was an honourable episode in this country's long and generally pretty proud legacy, and old Poles will be proud to remember that we declared war in honour of our commitment to them. Despite their desperate suffering we gave everything to fight the Nazies. I'm sure Poles didn't think we should have taken on Stalin too?

When we were flooded in the Carlisle floods early last year I'll never forget the newly arrived Polish workers next door wading out waist deep to catch their lift to work, clothes in black bin liners. Such was their determination to retain their new better paid jobs in the local 'sweat shop'.

What I would like to know is:

a) What is the state of Polish forces? Are they combat effective or nearer to the boy scouts who mince their way around the parade grounds of some of our other European allies?

b) Will they take on a proper shooting war with the local fuzzy wuzzies or fiddle around in the background counting mars bars?
 
#19
tally_target said:
.....the Poles did have a ''nasty'' habit of shooting the baled out Jerry pilots whilst in there parachutes.
.... agreed - but then they'd just had the most advanced armed forces in the world smash their way into the homeland for entirely spurious reasons, and then proceed to trash towns and villages, killing unarmed men, women and children indiscriminately.

No wonder they were a bit chippy.

Pause for thought: Isn't this how Afghans and Iraqis see us in relation to them?
 
#20
Stonker said:
tally_target said:
Pause for thought: Isn't this how Afghans and Iraqis see us in relation to them?
Hmmm... not many jackbooted, blackshirted, swastika hanging, anti-semites obviously present amongst our boys. But I guess the Royal Marines haven't been sent yet...
 

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