Prime Minister’s speech at Piłsudski Square in Warsaw, 11th November 2021. On Poland’s New Model Forces
Warsaw, 11th November 2021, Independence Day, 12:00 p.m., the long-announced speech of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki in the presence of Jarosław Kaczyński, Deputy Prime Minister for National Security and Defence Affairs, Mariusz Błaszczak, the Minister of National Defence and the Chief of General Staff, General Rajmund Andrzejczak.
A typical November day in the capital city, the morning drizzle starts to clear from noon, during the speech the shy rays of the November sun appear.
Despite the bad weather and the cold season, the square is crowded; from the Saski and Królewska gardens to the Europejski Hotel and the former Victoria Hotel, the crowd even undulates. For weeks, the Warsaw streets have been full of rumours that the government is working on the New Model Forces. People hope that the “new” proceeds.
Today, taking advantage of the great and dignified anniversary of the breakout of our independence 103 years ago, we want to announce the creation of the New Model Forces. We want to announce it on behalf of the government, including Prime Minister Jarosław Kaczyński, Minister of National Defence Mariusz Błaszczak, who are present here, and the military commanders. Also on behalf of the President of the Republic of Poland, who fully supports what will be discussed today.
On Monday, a bill on the establishment and functioning of the New Model Forces will be submitted to parliament. We would like the act to enter into force on 1st January 2022 and change the entire system of regulations regarding the defence of the Polish state.
Thus, from 2022, a new stage in the history of the Polish Armed Forces will begin. But also a new stage in the entire state’s immune system. And even more, I am not afraid of this statement – a new stage for our society.
Everything seems to indicate that very turbulent times are ahead. Our answer is precisely this act and the fundamental change symbolised by it, one could say, civilisational change. This profound reform will change our approach to the state’s defence system and resilience.
There has come a time when there is nothing certain about the international arena, that for the last 30 years has given us great development opportunities. The world awaits changes. Turbulence is possible. We see and hear what is happening between the great powers – the United States and China, what is happening in the Pacific, what is happening with international trade, with broadly understood international cooperation, what is happening in the East. We can of course also see what is happening on our eastern border.
Taking advantage of structural changes in the world order, Russia is pursuing an aggressive policy of expansion and seeking to expand its political influence in a way that security professionals call a next-generation war. This is different from war as we know it from the 20th century. However, it is still a war, that is, in relations between states, forcing some states to accept unfavourable decisions made by others by force, and not by negotiation or persuasion. In this way, Russia wants to influence the political situation in Europe, especially in our part of the continent, which separates it from the countries of Western Europe. Therefore, our development is at risk, we also have a limited ability to choose with whom and on what terms we want to cooperate as Poland. And above all, on what principles we want to develop further.
Let me emphasise that this is not about a great war like the wars we know from the 20th century, nor about the occupation of our entire country, as we have experienced for most of the last 200 years. It is about negatively influencing our development. This is an extremely important matter that determines the sense of dignity of Polish society, determines our prosperity or lack thereof, and the freedom to choose and to follow (or inability to go) the path that leads towards modernity.
After 1991 and the December collapse of the Soviet Union, we believed that we would never face a similar challenge from the East. It turned out that the story was not over.
The sooner our society understands this, the better we will be prepared for possible turmoil. Therefore, we appeal to you for broad support for the New Model Forces and for the fundamental changes it will bring about.
We want to make it clear that the task of the New Model Forces is to successfully prove itself in both currently most likely scenarios of the developing international situation: both in the scenario of the strengthening of NATO by an increase in the will of the United States to have a political and military presence in Europe, despite their ongoing rivalry with China in the Pacific, and a scenario without significant American participation, when the European Union is faced with the necessity to conduct a new security policy based on hard power, that is, some kind of future European army. Perhaps this is also why the concept of the New Model Forces does not raise any major objections from the parliamentary opposition. We have been assured of their support, as will be demonstrated by votes in parliament in the coming week.
We may experience geopolitical uncertainty in the coming years. The nature of war is also changing, the state of war and peace are mixed, and the line between rivalry, conflict and war is blurred. This means that we have to take care of safety ourselves, and much more than we did after 1989. We need to catch up and be ready for the new nature of the confrontation.
I think we all agree that our society has made a great leap into modernity over the last 30 years. However, the military and the state security system, despite participating in numerous expeditionary missions, have not been modernised to an equally impressive extent. It’s time to make up for this difference and this is also the role of the New Model Forces. We gave it this name so that the public feels that a genuine change is about to take place, that it is not just powdering here and there. It is supposed to be a profound transformation of the entire system and structure as well as the way of thinking about the military in line with the 21st century, our geopolitical position and our economic possibilities, not small in comparison with 1989 or other periods.
The New Model Forces will be much smaller than the current military structures. But it has to be much more powerful by exposing real abilities. We do not need a large army, but a fully complete army in full combat readiness, an army consisting only of a combat component and only of services closely related to this component. Other military components will be transferred to the civilian component serving the military system. No more overly extensive rear services, pen pushers, unnecessary jobs not directly related to the battlefield, but generating personnel and pension expenses that are like a ball and chain to the military budget.
This means a positive revolution in logistics and rear services. We will slim down the Polish army and its excessively complex structures. We will slim them down from unnecessary and non-prospective equipment, we will quickly get rid of, for example, post-Soviet equipment. We will introduce civilian methods of managing logistics, repairs and maintenance. This will be outsourced to civilian companies. The military is to focus on fighting. The times of the army as a social organisation with a social function, where you receive pensions and salaries for doing things not related to risking your life for the homeland, these times are ending.
At the same time, we will increase the defence expenditures introduced by parliament to at least 3% of GDP, which will result in a jump in the salary of soldiers and officers who will pass the check-up to the New Model Forces. We are focused on high morale, the ethical side of staff and the innovative thinking of officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers. We are putting an end to old habits, extensive back office services, the lack of staff rotation, comfortable jobs and sinecures.
Let me repeat: the New Model Forces will pay its soldiers very well. But for the service of the Republic. This is more than a job. For a very demanding service and the associated risks, and not for the jobs resembling life in the civil economy.
People will be the centre of gravity for reform and will be at the centre of the New Model Forces system. What matters will be morale and discipline, faith in the effectiveness of the New Model Forces and its value for our country. The service is to be prestigious. After its completion, a member of this army is to find easy employment in the economy, because they will have high interpersonal skills, good self-discipline habits and the ability to operate in a modern and dynamic environment. There are countries in the world where it works like that. This will also be the case on the Vistula.
We will deploy additional military units to the east of the Vistula in order to flexibly and rapidly respond to threats from the East. Today’s war is lightning fast and the threats are sudden. We cannot afford to transfer the army from west to east through the territory of Poland for too long only during a crisis or confrontation. We are also thinking about modern missile warfare and air defence of facilities on the territory of the country, and about new technologies that can help us strengthen our potential in this area.
We have created our own operational concept for the New Model Forces, intended for the next generation war. Its goal is to beat the opponent. We do not intend to imitate someone else’s holistic solutions anymore. The New Model Forces has no task to delay, slow down, or cover. The New Model Forces is called in to win.
So there are changes coming, dear compatriots. We finish with one to start new ones. Conceptual, cultural, organisational and then technological changes are necessary. This should be the order of our actions.
The Territorial Defence Force will remain as an auxiliary force for the standing army. The same rules of promotion will apply in them, taking into account the specificity of the temporary army, which is TDF.
We will introduce changes, starting with special forces, which will become the incubator of changes. We will start with them a review of human resources and training processes. This should be done quickly, because these forces are small but efficient, and they have been the incubator of modernity in the Polish army in recent years, and one that is highly rated by our allies. We want them to begin to meet the assumptions of the New Model Forces as quickly as possible and radiate them to the rest of the army.
Thereafter, the reform will include the 6th Brigade and the 25th Brigade, which will change their operational formula and become experimental units of a new type of light infantry equipped with robotics and various types of drones.
Together with the New Model Forces, an ultra-modern Information Centre will be created by the Prime Minister, acting in agreement with the General Staff of the Polish Army, which will be responsible 24 hours a day for shaping the information domain in the country and abroad (in English), thus strengthening the system of state immunity in the increasing competition for the narrative and perception of Poland by world public opinion.
With the entry into force of the law, the Battlefield Drone and Robotics Academy in Warsaw will be established, where the innovative operational art of the new weapon systems of the New Model Forces will be developed and the training of systems operators and experimental light infantry units will be conducted. There will be studies on a robotic battlefield.
As of the effective date of the act, the Space Communication Centre will be established to control communication with the satellites of the Polish Earth observation system, which will be established together with the New Model Forces. According to the act, 75% of the Centre’s orders are to go to private entities and Polish engineers in order to expand Polish knowledge and the Polish New Space sector. The law also says the same about the production of drones and robotics systems. The goal is for Polish engineering thought to flow from literally every garage. We mean the so-called fusion effect of knowledge and the civil-military economic ecosystem.
There will be a reform of military education. One military academy will remain, and the training of an officer will be shortened. An absolute obligation to rotate staff between units and the university will be introduced. It can no longer be the case that instructors and teaching staff do not have linear or combat experience.
As Prime Minister, I declare that we will cooperate more closely than before with the countries that share with us the fate of middle countries, such as South Korea, Australia, Turkey and others. These countries know what abilities they have to develop on their own, how to shape their military and how to cooperate with their own industry. We declare the end of purchases inconsistent with the model and objectives of the New Model Forces.
All purchases will be carried out in accordance with the plan of the entire government, and will no longer be solely the responsibility of the Minister of National Defence. These purchases will be subject to coalition and government plans. The purchasing system will be changed. In other words the military procurement act will be changed. We will introduce civilian purchasing methods, especially for the technical innovations required on the modern battlefield.
We want the entire army to be the New Model Forces by 2030, not only in name, but after all the assumptions of the reform have been implemented.
Finally, we will expand the ability to compete non-kinetically, be it through special operations, or cyber-rivalry or outside-the-box activities. We will not be afraid of offensive operations. The Republic of Poland will stand firm on its feet and defend its interests.
There is money for the New Model Forces. However, the important thing is how the money is spent. Reducing the number of jobs and increasing the percentage of budget expenditure is not enough. Mental change is important. The trademark is to promote competence, not protection, nepotism and feudal dependencies, as well as laziness, lack of development and aversion to modernity. There is no room for incompetent people in the New Model Forces. We will take special care to make the public feel that the New Model Forces means “new” and to make them believe in change seriously. Service in the New Design Army is to arouse respect among Poles.
We will reorganise industry, leave outdated combat systems behind us, and invest in robotics, drones, communication and observation systems, artificial intelligence and precision ammunition.
Some will be dissatisfied, the government knows it, but there is no way out. Deep reforms of the army were needed in the history of the Republic of Poland. The Reforms of the Great Sejm, Batory and Władysław IV aroused the resistance of the stakeholders of the political and military system at the time. But they had to be carried out.
War, like art, is derived from the soul of a nation. Some nations, being at the crossroads of history and geography, just like Poles, are forced by circumstances to innovate on the battlefield, and in the face of adversities they must transform their methods of warfare. The former Republic of Poland did not imitate the art of war. She created her own special one. We had our old Polish art of war, which in some respects surpassed both Western and Eastern competition, and certainly in terms of cost-effectiveness and the efficiency of the so-called decision loop, tailored to our specific military geography.
The New Model Forces is not only about the military, and not only about the political class and the country’s immune system. It is about society, about you, dear compatriots.
You deserve to be positively convinced that the transformation of our defence system is taking place seriously, and people in the system are selected according to a key, which is the pattern accepted by a rapidly modernising society. That there are moral principles in the New Model Forces that give a chance for success, and the belief that it is a great matter prevails. This is meant to be modern and an opportunity, including a development opportunity for the civil economy. Because this is what characterises the transformation of the armed forces towards a new model, a new way of functioning, that it ceases to weigh on the civilian economy and begins to pull it, also technologically and organisationally, becoming its flywheel, even – one might say pompously – the aspiration of citizens. New ways of organisation and technologies can then be absorbed by the civil economy, especially in new fields.
Time is pressing, we go to work. We are deeply transforming the entire system. It’s very late. We invite to the New Model Forces only people who have such a vision of the future army. We have to do this or we may lose the country’s future. It’s time for changes. I believe you will be with us.
Ultimately, it is society that fields the Polish armed forces. And it has to believe in them.