The opponent of the Polish general is Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer. The campaign and lobbying for this strategic position will continue until the last days. This includes last week’s celebration of the 40th anniversary of Solidarity at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels (the Polish ambassador to NATO Tomasz Szatkowski was involved in the organization of the event) or the Monday meeting of the Military Diplomatic Corps with the management of the Polish Armed Forces in in Warsawwhere Andrzejczak was present.
The topic was also discussed on the Berlin-Warsaw line and – as indicated by DGP information – there is a good chance that Germany they will support the Pole. Earlier, Canada’s candidate withdrew from the race for the position. Unofficially, it is said that the Canadians decided that their chances of defeating Andrzejczak were not great, and after losing the battle for a non-permanent seat on the Security Council, they did not want a second defeat in the security area.
Despite the quality criticism campaign for Andrzejczak it seems that there was an agreement between the defense ministry and the presidential camp, in which the idea of a Polish candidate was born.
The majority of the selection will be made by the chiefs of staff of the 30 North Atlantic Alliance countries during an away meeting of the Military Committee in Rome. Voting is secret.
Unofficially, you can hear that the Pole has a slight advantage over the Dutch. But each country has one vote – no matter if it has 300 million or 300,000. inhabitants and whether it has the most powerful army in the world, or does not have a standing army at all. Counting ends after one of the candidates can also vote on their own, will get 16 votes. The Dutchman is a sailor, Andrzejczak is a tanker. Who will head the Military Committee is, in a sense, also a signal of what the organization will focus on.
– NATO is a political alliance. The key is to reach a consensus. The role of the head of the committee is crucial for translating this into operational realities, because often, even after agreeing a common position, some states inhibit the explains Sławomir Dębski, director of the Polish Institute of International Affairs. – In this position, the ability to practice military diplomacy is very important. If it is taken over by an officer who knows the eastern flank of the Alliance inside out, it will be good news for us – adds the expert.
– Each political decision of the ambassadors or defense ministers in the Alliance must be preceded by a conversation with the Military Committee and take into account its proposals. The committee presents various action plans. The head of the Committee has a great influence on them. He makes a pilgrimage between diplomatic representatives – here the principle of unanimity applies – and works out a consensus – General Jarosław Stróżyk, who for three years was the deputy director of the International Intelligence Board of the Military Staff at the Headquarters in Brussels, explained in DGP. – The boss himself has no voice, but he moderates this discussion. The head of the Committee is also part of the North Atlantic Council and is present at every working meeting or meeting of ambassadors or defense ministers – explained the former military officer. A Pole performing this function would, inter alia, some influence on the way NATO-Russia relations are shaped.
Currently in structures The alliance we do not have too many Poles in the highest allied positions. Recently, General Krzysztof Król has become the chief of staff in the Allied Joint Forces Command – HQ JFC Brunssum. In turn, since last year, General Piotr Błazeusz has been the deputy chief of staff at the Supreme Command of Allied Forces in Europe (SHAPE) in Mons. General Marian Jeleniewski is the deputy director of the International Military Staff in Brussels, which means that he would become Andrzejczak’s direct subordinate if he won. But it should also be remembered that these most important military positions are in part handed out on a political and national basis. For example, the commander-in-chief of the allied forces in Europe (SACEUR) is an American, his deputy is a British, and the chief of staff is Germany. They are all four-star generals, now General Rajmund Andrzejczak has a chance to join this elite.
Andrzejczak as chief of staff of the Polish armed forces did not have an easy life due to his rough friendship with the Minister of Defense Mariusz Błaszczak and the gray eminence of v MON Agnieszka Glapiakwho is the director responsible for the Operations Center communications. Before the staff, Andrzejczak was the division commander. He lacked experience as e.g. operational or general commander. But such a staff movement was largely the result of staff purges carried out by Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz. It does not change the fact that he is an extraordinary officer. Some argue that outstanding, without stereotype general with a belly.
He got to know the Americans well in Afghanistan, where he was the commander of the Polish Military Contingent through two shifts, when Poland was taking control of the difficult Ghazni province. He found out that he was going to the first three weeks before his departure. – Before the end of the shift, the then Defense Minister Bogdan Klich traveled to Afghanistan and asked Rajmund to stay for a second term. It was against my will, because the commander should prepare the army and then return with him – recalls General Waldemar Skrzypczak, then the commander of the Land Forces. Andrzejczak was the only Pole to command two shifts there. So for a year. And as the only one in the rank of colonel.
This is how General Mirosław Różański commented on the trip to Afghanistan in the pages of “Polska Zbrojna”. – Andrzejczak was taken from his desk and put in Afghanistan for a year, where, as he himself admits today, he took a lesson for the first six months and only during the second shift did he understand why all this was happening. He incurred enormous costs of this lesson, and then, in Poland, he transferred the acquired experience to the training field. Today it is ahead of certain canons of conduct in our armed forces. Mentally, he is much more in NATO than many of us, so sometimes his concepts were not easy to understand. How can exercises be done in three different parts of the country, at the battalion level? We just need such commanders – spoke in 2015. Andrzejczak’s acquaintance with the American chief of joint staffs, General Marek Milley, who will also vote on Saturday, also comes from that time.
Some point to Andrzejczak’s weakness as being the difficulty in building relationships with subordinates. The officer had, for example, mobbing processthe soldiers had attacked him. Some criticize his selection of associates. – If you are convinced of your own greatness and choose nods as your coworkers, you may stop noticing many things – says our interlocutor.
When asked by the monthly “Polska Zbrojna”, which commander the Polish Army needs AD 2018, Andrzejczak replied: “First of all, an independent one. Because it will work in an extremely dynamic environment, where it will be inundated with a huge amount of information from all sides. So it must not only deal with defense and attack, but also be able to cooperate with civil authorities, with other uniformed services, who want to know everything, the media and the society ”. We will find out on Saturday whether such a vision will have a chance to be implemented from next summer at NATO Headquarters.