May 30, 2018
"Damned soldiers" of Anaconda 2018
By Vairis Godmans
Joint military exercise Anaсonda is conducted on the territory of Poland every two years under the direction of operational command of the Polish Armed Forces
Joint military exercise Anaсonda is conducted on the territory of Poland every two years under the direction of operational command of the Polish Armed Forces. Biggest-ever military maneuvers Anaсonda 2018, which will include about 100,000 troops 5,000 vehicles, 45 warships, 150 aircraft and helicopters will be held in Poland in summer.
The main purpose of Anaconda 2018 exercise will be testing NATO countries capabilities to protect the eastern flank of the alliance. The scenario of maneuvers presupposes preemptive strikes and preventive actions on the eastern flank. Exercise tasks will involve responding to the emerging military threats, including conventional and hybrid warfare.
During the exercise Anaconda 2018 troops of Territorial Defense Force of Poland will be deployed for the second time. The units would have their own separate command center, and the head of the new force will report directly to Defense Minister, bypassing the command structure of the rest of the armed forces.
But professional soldiers particularly worry about a lack of clarity surrounding the creation and role of a Territorial Defense Force, consisted of 7,000 members of Poland's gun clubs and paramilitary groups, some of them are linked to the country's racist football hooligans.
By the way, former defense minister Antoni Macierewicz said, that "the command of the Territorial Defense Forces adopted and cultivates the traditions of the Home Army (Armia Krajowa) (1942-1945)". In this way Territorial Defense Force is already preparing to act according to the principle of Polish nationalists of the Second World War, known as "damned soldiers."
At the beginning of March Defense Minister Mariusz Blaszczak told to the Polish television channel TVP about popularizing all the "damned soldiers" as heroes. He said that Territorial Defense members are motivated "nationally-conscious" volunteers.
Insiders say morale has fallen to an all-time low since the appointment of Mariusz Blaszczak as a Defense Minister.
Today, soldiers are not so happy with their new brothers in arms. Without raising the defense budget, the Ministry of Defense will invest more than 800 million Euros in the Territorial Defense Force buildup until 2019. The Ministry of Defense says that the armed forces won't suffer but no one believes that. Moreover the Territorial Defense Force gets a powerful standing against the regular armed forces. Beside army, navy, air force and the Special Forces the militia is positioned as the fifth military branch.
Most important: The armed forces leadership won't have control over the Territorial Defense Force. And taking part in such large-scale military maneuvers as Anaconda 2018, an uncontrolling forces with uncoordinated actions can inflict irreparable damage to the whole region.
Journalist, computer programmer and activist.