Is Poland Worried About War?

Ladies and Gentlemen: This is significant. It has never—repeat never—been done before.

Might we be on the edge of WWIII?

From The Week: “Why are Polish men in London getting military call-up papers?

Next time you take a tray of tea and custard creams to the nice gang of Polish builders renovating your semi, they may seem a little distracted and anxious. Ask them why, and they will answer that some of them have in the last few weeks received call-up papers as army reservists.   

This happened to a friend of mine in London at the end of last week.  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.

Does anyone believe–anyone–that we have the necessary leadership in place to confront this challenge?

This is particularly poignant, because of the author’s confession that he is, personally, in line for a call-up in England, should Russia move on Poland.

Is Putin going to make such moves? I honestly don’t think so, but… in truth, I don’t know what he has in mind. I do know we have to consider the very grave question: What if he does?