March 25, 2014
It seems the words of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk warning that “the world stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen… Not everyone in Europe is aware of this situation,” are a little more real than some (US equity buyers) might suspect.
As The Week’s Crispin Black reports, at least 7,000 Polish workers in Europe have received call-up papers as army reservists in the last few weeks. Polish authorities dismiss it as “routine” but the men note this has never happened before.
At least 7,000 reservists have been recalled to the colours for immediate exercises lasting between 10 and 30 days.
They’re told by the Polish authorities that the call-ups are “routine”: but the men say they haven’t been asked before and they’re well aware of the growing alarm in Warsaw at President Putin’s aggression.
Three weeks ago, their Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, called a press conference to warn that “the world stands on the brink of conflict, the consequences of which are not foreseen… Not everyone in Europe is aware of this situation.”
My own view is that Putin was initially more concerned with righting a specific historical wrong in Crimea than starting a new Cold War. This is still probably the case despite the dawning truth that the EU/Nato Emperor really has no clothes at all.
But in the worst case scenario of a truly revanchist Russia, Poland certainly has the borders from hell. Starting from the top, it abuts Kaliningrad (the Russian exclave on the Baltic carved at the end of the war from East Prussia), Lithuania, Belarus and Ukraine.
None of these borders relies on any natural barriers like rivers or mountain ranges – they are just lines on a map drawn by Stalin in the full flush of victory. No wonder the Poles are feeling vulnerable.