Maximizing National Security: The Framework for U.S. - Polish Strategic Cooperation on Missile Defense seminar took place on March 5, 2013 in Warsaw. Organized by the German Marshall Fund of the United States in partnership with National Defence University (Akademia Obrony Narodowej; AON), the seminar engaged high-level speakers from the U.S. and Poland in discussions on the prospective Polish AMD system and its impact on transatlantic security as well as requirements that need to be met for its successful implementation.
Welcoming remarks were provided by Dr Andrew Michta and General Boguslaw Pacek. The General stressed that Poland’s air defense aircraft system must be replaced as presently it is not capable of defeating ballistic missiles.
In the keynote speech Minister Robert Kupiecki explained that new missile defence capabilities are a necessity in Poland, as presently they are nonexistent. As a member of NATO, Poland must contribute resources to increase credibility of common defense. This should be achieved by acting on three levels: national, international and cooperation with the US. Especially the last element would open space for mutually beneficial partnerships and would create additional technological opportunities.
The first discussion panel featured Mr Robert Bell (Defense Advisor, U.S. Mission to NATO), Col. Czesław Juźwik (Deputy Director, Department of Authority over the Armed Forces, National Security Bureau) and Mr Michał Miarka, (Deputy Permanent Representative, Polish Mission to NATO). Mr Ian Brzezinski (Senior Fellow, Atlantic Council) who moderated the panel concentrated the discussion on AMD around the cooperation between the US and Poland, stressing its role as a significant pillar.
Mr Bell remarked that the U.S. commitment to deploy long range missile interceptors by 2018 is “rock solid,” as its contribution to European upper tier defense against long range ballistic missiles. According to Mr Miarka, the acquisition of medium range anti-missile system is now a priority for Poland, which needs protection against full spectrum of threats. He stressed that complexity of the required capability necessitates cooperation with partners. Cooperation with the U.S. is a great opportunity for Poland to do its share with regards to common defense. According to Col Juźwik, 6 batteries are to be purchased by 2022 for critical asset defense and strategic capability. It would give Poland some deterrence capability and would constitute leverage for developing other capabilities such as smart defense through pooling and sharing. Such cooperation prospects would add value to the allied defense system against future challenges we do not know.
In his address before the second discussion panel, Minister Wlosowicz said that improvement of air defence, construction of missile defense system and development of R&D is the essence of 2013-2022 modernization efforts. He also said that Poland wants to be compatible with NATO systems of defense against new types of threat, but also remain autonomous.
The second discussion panel which followed his address featured Col. Jeffrey Burchfield (Chief, Space and Missile Defense Division, EUCOM J5-MD, USAF), Col. Eugeniusz Cieślak (PhD, Director of the Aviation and Air Defense Institute, National Defense University (Akademia Obrony Narodowej; AON)) and Mr. Piotr Pacholski (Deputy Director, International Security Policy Department, Polish Ministry of National Defense). Moderated by Peter Doran (Director of Research, Center for European Policy Analysis), the discussion was focused on the review of requirements of the Polish AMD and the way forward.
Mr Pacholski stressed that the ways of conduct in terms of cooperation with external partners and stakeholders should be determined, particularly when it comes to civil-military as well as military-military cooperation. Especially this latter capability would constitute a good platform for regional cooperation. Additionally, industrial R&D military policy would create new opportunities for cooperation, also internationally. He also remarked that having the U.S. as a reliable partner is crucial. Col Burchfield highlighted the need to be able to identify threats and to develop systems that counter them, stressing that Poland cannot achieve it on its own, but has to cooperate with allies and engage in a dialogue with them to help identify threats and needs. Col Cieslak said that AON and other research institutes should keep in touch with counterparts abroad and propose subjects for further study.
Bogusław Winid, Undersecretary of State, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs closed the meeting with a keynote speech. He explained that Poland engages with the US on initiatives such as EPAA because it wants to contribute to security of the entire alliance and region, and desires to promote democracy beyond the region. In order to achieve this, Poland needs to engage on the national level, cooperate with NATO and bilaterally. Partnership with the U.S. is especially important because the transfer of modern technology would be beneficial for cooperation with other partner.