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Poland’s top military official is the only leading Western representative who has consistently eschewed “political correctness” when sharing his assessment of the Ukrainian Conflict.
Poland’s top military official, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces General Rajmund Andrzejczak, has developed the habit of breaking with the West’s “politically correct” narrative on the NATO-Russian proxy war in Ukraine whenever he speaks to the public. Here are three occasions thus far this year where he said things that he wasn’t supposed to but which he’ll never be “canceled” for because he and his country play too crucial of a role in this conflict:
His latest interview with Ukrinform fully conforms with this trend and completely contradicted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s assessment of the conflict. It was originally published in Ukrainian here but can be read in anyone’s language of choice using Google Translate. The present piece will draw attention to his main points as expressed via the English-language translation, after which they’ll be analyzed so that the reader can better understand their significance in the larger context.
* Kiev’s counteroffensive is struggling due to Russia’s strong defenses
– “This is not an easy task. The Russians dug in there very strongly, and therefore, from a tactical point of view, the task for the Ukrainians is very difficult.”
* Western reluctance to go all-out in support of Ukraine gave Russia time to entrench itself
– “In my opinion, the EU, NATO countries, the entire Western civilization can and should do more for Ukraine in order not to give the Russians time.”
* The Ukrainian Conflict is a war of attrition with existential stakes for Russia and the West
– “This is a war of confrontation, of mutual destruction. This is a war for resources.”
* Ukraine is running out of manpower and risks losing if the conflict becomes protracted
– “Ukraine cannot afford a long war, you will not have enough people to wage it and then rebuild Ukraine. We are fully aware of this.”
* Poland fears being stuck with millions of Ukrainian refugees if Kiev doesn’t win
– “The reception of millions of Ukrainians abroad who came out of the fire, which was important from a moral point of view, as well as the restoration of control over the country, is the first phase. But we have to create conditions for Ukrainians to return home.”
* The Russian military is strong and its people are united
– “If the successes were greater, then we would be talking about a completely different situation. But Ukraine is at war with Russia, which is not some small country, or only with Wagner’s group, but with a powerful strong army supported by their society. This army also has nuclear weapons.”
* Western criticism of the counteroffensive crushes Ukrainian troops’ morale
– “I would rather ask these commentators, if they were in the place of the Ukrainians, they would prepare better and have more progress? Therefore, I would change the emphasis in order to morally support Ukrainians, and not to review and criticize them. It is immoral from a human point of view.”
* The Ukrainian Conflict is a civilizational struggle that could doom the West if Kiev is defeated
– “If we lose Ukraine, we will push Belarus into the arms of Moscow. If we lose Ukraine and Belarus, we lose confidence in ourselves as the North Atlantic Alliance and Western civilization. And China is watching all this. Therefore, it is a global matter.”
The first “politically incorrect” point from Andrzejczak’s interview is that he blatantly contradicts Blinken’s official assessment earlier this week from Kiev that the counteroffensive is making “very tangible progress”. Poland’s top military official, however, insists that it’s actually “not an easy task”, “very difficult”, and “if the successes were greater, then we would be talking about a completely different situation.”
Even more surprising is just how far apart Andrzejczak and Blinken are when it comes to assessing the grand strategic dynamics of the Ukrainian Conflict. The US’ top diplomat just told his Ukrainian counterpart that “President Putin’s war in Ukraine has been and will continue to be a strategic failure for Russia” while CNN reported that unnamed Western officials also agree that “Russia has lost”. Andrzejczak feels differently and signaled in his interview that it’s premature to jump to that conclusion.
He implied that the West hasn’t done enough to help Ukraine win, which suggests that its “very difficult” counteroffensive could have been a lot easier had they gone all-out in this respect instead. By holding back, Russia’s edge in the “race of logistics”/“war of attrition” that NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg finally acknowledged in mid-February continues growing, and this could have dire consequences for the West. In fact, Andrzejczak is worried that Ukraine’s defeat could doom all of Western civilization.
About that, he hinted earlier in the week per the last of the three previously hyperlinked analyses above that the Ukrainian Conflict is actually a proxy war between the West and China. The West therefore can’t afford to take Kiev’s victory for granted since its loss could bring the rest of that New Cold War bloc down with it by creating the conditions whereby China would supposedly assume control of the world. For that reason, Andrzejczak wants Poland’s partners to unprecedentedly ramp up their support for Ukraine.
“Western Media Is Nowadays Talking About How Fatigued & Frustrated Ukrainians Have Become”, and the New York Times and Wall Street Journal’s recent reports citing unnamed US officials who blame the counteroffensive’s failure on Kiev’s refusal to follow orders have demoralized Ukrainian troops. If the conflict becomes protracted, then he warned that Russia might win since its military is a lot stronger and its people more united than the Western media claims.
From Andrzejczak’s perspective, time is running out to prevent this supposedly worst-case scenario from materializing since Ukraine’s manpower is rapidly depleting, which explains why it’s scrambling to vastly expand its draft pool as detailed in these recent analyses here and here. In that event, Poland could be stuck with millions of Ukrainian refugees with all that entails for its long-term socio-political cohesion. Accordingly, his country has done all it can to help Ukraine achieve maximum victory, but it isn’t enough.
Poland’s top military official is the only leading Western representative who has consistently eschewed “political correctness” when sharing his assessment of the Ukrainian Conflict. While it’s true that he exaggerates some of his points such as when he fearmongered twice this week about the West’s future if Kiev loses, he’s much more reliable of a source to follow than any of his peers. Most significantly, Andrzejczak’s candidness proves that there are sharp differences within NATO over the counteroffensive.