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Polish Lessons Learned from Operations and Defence Transformation
A Lecture by General Franciszek Gagor, Chief of Defence Staff of Poland
Strong Polish support to multinational operations in Iraq & Afghanistan, as well as close political/military ties with the United States, have led to the common perception that the country is amongst one of the most Atlanticist nations in Europe. Significantly, the country is also holding bilateral negotiations with the US concerning the installation of an interceptor missile base in Poland as part of a future Missile Defence Shield. Elections in October 2007 however, which brought the centre-right opposition party to power and led to the formation of Donald Tusk’s Government, potentially herald a shift in Poland’s foreign and military affairs, with Polish troops already concluding their Iraq mission during 2008.
During his talk, the Polish Chief of Defence Staff addressed the Institute on Polish experiences derived from the field of operations, as well as from the implementation of continued defence reforms within Poland’s Armed Forces.
General Gagor was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces in February 2006, building on a distinguished military career in the field of peacekeeping, arms control and military foreign affairs. He had served previously as Polish Military Representative to NATO and the EU Military Committees in Brussels since 2004. Between 2003 and 2004, he was Force Commander of two UN peacekeeping missions in Iraq and Syria successively, after having served in the Operations Directorate in the General Staff of the Polish Armed Forces between 1999 and 2003.