From Enthusiasm to Reluctance: Poland and International Military Operations

  • Fredrik Doeser
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)


The sixth chapter studies Polish strategic culture and participation (two instances) and non-participation (two instances) in the operations studied in this book. Poland is, like Greece, one of the countries where the normative framework has emphasised territorial defence, achieved mainly through the presence of the armed forces at home. The importance of participation in international operations for national security has varied after 9/11. The president is responsible for decisions on participation in international operations, but the prime minister is also involved in the process. The parliament on the other hand plays a marginal role, and the armed forces are also kept at a distance in this process.


European Union Prime Minister Armed Force Security Policy Military Operation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The author is grateful for help from Anna Bergstrand, Stamatia Boskou, Malena Britz, Kjell Engelbrekt, Maria Hellman, Tomas Olsson, Chiara Ruffa, Jacub Swiecicki, Marcin Terlikowski, Jacob Westberg, and Jan Ångström.


  1. Bell, Joseph P., and Ryan C. Hendrickson. 2012. NATO’s Visegrad Allies and the Bombing of Qaddafi: The Consequences of Alliance Free-Riders. Journal of Slavic Military Studies 25: 149–161.Google Scholar
  2. Bernstein, Richard. 2003. Poland upstages, and Irks, European powerhouses. New York Times, 13 May.Google Scholar
  3. CBOS. 2002. Polish public opinion: poles on NATO and the operation in Afghanistan, April 2002. Warsaw: Centre for Public Opinion Research.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 2003a. Polish public opinion: diminishing support for the intervention in Iraq, January 2003. Warsaw: Centre for Public Opinion Research.Google Scholar
  5. ———. 2003b. Polish public opinion: the problem of Iraq, February 2003. Warsaw: Centre for Public Opinion Research.Google Scholar
  6. ———. 2011. Polish public opinion: opinions about the situation in Libya, April 2011. Warsaw: Centre for Public Opinion Research.Google Scholar
  7. Cienski, Jan. 2015. The world according to Duda. Politico, 19 August.Google Scholar
  8. Cimoszewicz, Włodzimierz. 2003. Poland’s Raison d’état and the new international environment. In Yearbook of Polish foreign policy 2003, ed. Barbara Wizimirska, 35–46. Warsaw: Polish Institute of International Affairs.Google Scholar
  9. ———. 2004. Government information on the Polish foreign policy in 2004, presented at the session of the Sejm, 21 January. Available from:,information,on,the,Polish,foreign,policy,in,the,year,2004,,presented,at,the,session,of,the,Sejm,on,,January,21,,2004.html. Accessed 25 Apr 2012.
  10. Constitution. 1997. The Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997. Available from: Accessed 14 Nov 2014.
  11. De Witt, Douglas L. 2005. Polish foreign and security policy: dilemmas of international integration and alliance cohesion, 1989–2005. Monterey: Naval Postgraduate School.Google Scholar
  12. Dicke, Rachel A., Nicholas Anson, Philip A. Roughton, and Ryan C. Hendrickson. 2013. NATO Burden-Sharing in Libya: Understanding the Contributions of Norway, Spain and Poland to the War Effort. The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs 4: 29–53.Google Scholar
  13. Dobrowolska-Polak, Joanna. 2013. Poland: An Active Neophyte at the EU Common Security and Defence Policy. In National Visions of EU Defence Policy: Common Denominators and Misunderstandings, eds. Federico Santopinto, and Megan Pri, 69–88. Brussels: Centre for European Policy Studies.Google Scholar
  14. Doeser, Fredrik. 2013. When governments ignore public opinion in foreign policy: Poland and the Iraq invasion. European Security 22(3): 413–431.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Doeser, Fredrik and Eidenfalk, Joakim. 2015. Ignoring public opinion: The Australian and Polish decisions to go to war in Iraq. Cambridge Review of International Affairs, e-pub ahead of print, 1 July, DOI:10.1080/09557571.2015.1058616Google Scholar
  16. Dunn, David H. 2003. Poland: America’s new model ally. In Poland: A new power in the transatlantic security, eds. Marcin Zaborowski, and David H. Dunn, 86–101. London: Frank Cass.Google Scholar
  17. EOS-Gallup Europe. 2003. International crisis survey 2127 January 2003. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  18. EU Navfor. 2010. A common effort supported by more and more countries. EU Navfor, Media and Public Information Office, 21 October. Available from: Accessed 13 Jan 2015.
  19. Feaver, Peter D. 2011. The Right to be Right: Civil-Military Relations and the Iraq Surge Decision. International Security 35(4): 87–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Free Republic. 2009. Polish Special Forces to fight Somali pirates. 4 January. Available from: Accessed 13 Jan 2015.
  21. Komorowski, Bronisław. 2013. No more far-off military missions. Statement by the President, 15 August. Available from:,485,president-no-more-far-off-military-missions.html. Accessed 28 Nov 2014.
  22. Koziej, Stanisław. 2014. Poland as a security policy actor in the Baltic Sea region. Lecture and Q&A by S. Koziej, (retired) General, (former) National Security Advisor to the Polish President and Head of the Polish National Security Bureau, at the National Defence College, Stockholm, 27 October.Google Scholar
  23. Kwaśniewski, Aleksander. 2001. The decision of the President of the Republic of Poland on the deployment of a military contingent within the allied forces, 22 November. Available from:,5,the-decision-of-the-president-of-the-republic-of-poland-on-the-deployment-of-a-military-contingent-within-the-allied-.html. Accessed 22 Oct 2014.
  24. ———. 2002. President George W. Bush’s news conference with President Aleksander Kwaśniewski, 17 July. Available from: http://frwebgate1.access.gpo. gov/cgibin/PDFgate.cgi?WAISdocIDroeEEC/2/2/0&WAISactionretrieve. Accessed 25 Apr 2012.
  25. ———. 2003a. President of the republic of Poland sign a decision to use Polish troops outside Poland, 18 March. Available from:,9,president-of-the-republic-of-poland-sign-a-decision-to-use-polish-troops-outside-poland.html. Accessed 25 Apr 2012.
  26. ———. 2003b. Speech at the Polish institute of international affairs. Polish foreign affairs digest 2(7): 7–13.Google Scholar
  27. Latawski, Paul. 2005. The Transformation of Postcommunist Civil-Military Relations in Poland. European Security 14(1): 33–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Longhurst, Kerry. 2005. Poland and transatlantic security: an enduring Atlanticist? Romanian journal of European affairs 5(1): 21–26.Google Scholar
  29. Lubecki, Jacek. 2005. Poland in Iraq: the politics of the decision. The Polish review L(1): 69–92.Google Scholar
  30. Matláry, Jaane Haaland. 2014. Partners versus Members? NATO as an Arena for Coalitions. In NATO’s Post-Cold War Politics: The Changing Provision of Security, ed. Sebastian Mayer. London: Palgrave MacMillan.Google Scholar
  31. Ministry of National Defence. 2014. Missions, 28 November. Available from: Accessed 28 Nov 2012.
  32. Miller, Leszek. 2003. Position of the Prime Minister regarding the decision to deploy a military contingent as part of international coalition forces to enforce Iraq’s compliance with UN security resolutions, 17 March. Available from: www.poprzedniastrona. Accessed 12 Dec 2012.
  33. National Security Strategy. 2003. . Available from: 01/poland_foreign9_doc.pdf. Accessed 25 Apr 2012.
  34. ———. 2014. Available from:,President-signs-National-Security-Strategy.html. Accessed 28 Nov 2014.
  35. Nielsen, Suzanne C., and Don M. Snyder. 2009. American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Osica, Olaf. 2004. Poland: A new European Atlanticist at a crossroads? European security 13(4): 301–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Piekarski, Michał. 2014. A Story of Change: Poland’s Armed Forces and the ISAF Operation in Afghanistan. The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs 2: 79–100.Google Scholar
  38. Pietrzak, Paweł. 2012. Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland in International Operations—Legal Grounds, Strategic Considerations, and Practical Implementation. Polish-Ukrainian Bulletin 1: 69–86.Google Scholar
  39. Polskie Radio. 2008. Polish crew on pirated tanker off Somali coast. 19 November. Available from: Accessed 13 Jan 2015.
  40. ———. 2011. Captain of Somali pirate hijacked ship is a Pole. 26 January. Available from: Accessed 8 Jan 2015.
  41. Reuters. 2011. Polish PM chides Europe over Libya “hypocrisy”. Reuters, 9 April. Available from: Accessed 15 Oct 2014.
  42. Rhodes, Matthew. 2004. Central Europe and Iraq: Balance, Bandwagon, or Bridge? Orbis 48(3): 423–436.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Szpyra, Ryszard, and Kamila Trochowska. 2014. Strategic Decision-Making in the Baltic Sea Region: The Republic of Poland. In Strategic Decision-Making: Four Baltic Approaches, ed. Tomas Ries, 144–183. Stockholm: Santérus Academic Press.Google Scholar
  44. Taras, Ron. 2004. Poland’s diplomatic misadventure in Iraq. Problems of post-communism 51(1): 3–17.Google Scholar
  45. Terlikowski, Marcin. 2013. Poland. In Strategic Cultures in Europe, eds. Heiko Biehl, Bastian Giegerich, and Alexandra Jonas, 269–280. Wiesbaden: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. The Economist. 2003. Who speaks for Europe?. 6 February. Available from: Accessed 21 Feb 2013.
  47. The Warsaw Voice. 2011. Tusk: Poland Will Refrain from Military Operation in Libya. 21 March. Available from: Accessed 1 Oct 2014.
  48. Trudelle, Alice. 2011. Polish Politicians Shy Away from Libya Intervention. Warsaw Business Journal, 4 April. Available from: Accessed 1 Oct 2014.
  49. Tusk, Donald. 2011. I am Incapable of Getting Angry with Angela Merkel. Spiegel International, 8 April. Available from: Accessed 12 Jan 2015.
  50. Wągrowska, Maria. 2004. Polish participation in the armed intervention and stabilization mission in Iraq. Warsaw: Centre for International Relations.Google Scholar
  51. Warsaw Business Journal. 2011. Poland declines to take part in “Odyssey Dawn”, 21 March. Available from: Accessed 1 Oct 2014.
  52. White, Josh. 2006. Leader Reaffirms Poland’s Role in Iraq, Afghanistan. The Washington Post, 14 September. Available from: Accessed 12 Jan 2015.
  53. White Book. 2013. White Book on National Security of the Republic of Poland. Warsaw: The National Security Bureau.Google Scholar
  54. Winid, Bogusław. 2007. Poland’s Participation in the Stabilization Mission in Afghanistan. The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs 1: 29–41.Google Scholar
  55. Zaborowski, Marcin. 2004. From America’s Protégé to constructive European: Polish security policy in the twenty-first century. In Occasional Paper 56. Paris: The European Union Institute for Security Studies.Google Scholar
  56. Zaborowski, Marcin, and Kerry Longhurst. 2007. The new Atlanticist: Poland’s foreign and security policy priorities. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar


  1. Anonymous 1. Polish diplomat in the Baltic Sea region, Secret, October 2014.Google Scholar
  2. Anonymous 2. Polish diplomat in the Baltic Sea region, Secret, October 2014.Google Scholar
  3. Anonymous 3. Former Deputy Minister of National Defence, Via phone, 19 December 2014.Google Scholar
  4. Anonymous 4. Lecturer and Researcher, Warsaw, Via phone, 9 January 2015.Google Scholar
  5. Lubecki, Jacek. Associate Professor and Director of the Centre for International Studies, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, Via email, 16 December 2014.Google Scholar
  6. Nowak, Jerzy M. Former Polish Ambassador to NATO, Professor at the Private University Vistula, Warsaw, Via phone, 17 December 2014.Google Scholar
  7. Swiecicki, Jakub. Research Fellow, Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Stockholm, 16 October 2014.Google Scholar
  8. Terlikowski, Marcin. Head of European Security and Defense Economics, Polish Institute of International Affairs, Warsaw, Via phone, 15 December 2014.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fredrik Doeser
    • 1
  1. 1.StockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations