Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Poland in Iraq

Yesterday on FOX we say the president of Poland, Jaroslaw Kaczynski interviewed. The reporter kind of got egg on her face when she asked, "Why are you withdrawing your troops from Iraq?" The president replied (through an interpreter), "We have made no such decision." Oops.

Now today we hear on FOX that in fact, Poland is sending another 900 troops to Iraq.
(CORRECTION: I misheard, it's Afghanistan. Point remains though.)

The troops Poland has in Iraq are mostly GROM, Polish Special Forces. (GROM is an anagram, the word it spells means "Thunder" in Polish.) They're said to be very good. (I've trained in martial arts with ex-GROM vets, obviously not to the same level, and IMHO they do seem pretty good. One grizzled vet was also one of the nicest guys I've met - a not at all uncommon characteristic of the truely tough.)

So my wife and I were talking about why is Poland doing this, given that they don't care a flip about Iraq in general?

Monika says, though Poles doesn't care about Iraq, they certainly care about America. Two generations of occupation by the USSR while Europe never lifted a finger on their behalf mean that they really want to be tight with the US.

I think she's got a good point, but I also wonder if there isn't another reason. If not now, then soon, Poland will have a military with more combat experience than any other country in Europe - perhaps more than all of them together. Poland's economy is not the largest in Europe, nor is their military the best equipped and funded. But experience has to count for something, and in the future if Europe ever cares to stand together with military force, they'll have to listen to Poland.


  • At 2:14 PM, Blogger The hooded thug on the corner said…

    Good point. The US is a good counterbalance to France / Britain / Germany in the new Europe. Didn't there use to be a system of checks and balances in 19th century diplomacy too?


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