WARSAW, Poland — The forthcoming NATO summit, which is scheduled to take place on July 8 and 9 in Poland’s capital of Warsaw, is designed to consolidate the confidence of its 28 member states in the alliance’s capacity to deal with various threats to global security and stability, such as terrorist groups and Russia’s military aggression in Eastern Europe, according to Polish Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz.
“The answer, which will be given on July 8 and 9, will be a sufficient and efficient one. It will be an answer relying on capable deterrence and ensuring the security of our states and our nations,” Macierewicz said at a news conference held by the Polish Ministry of National Defence on July 1. “In view of the latest events which took place in the EU, no one can doubt that NATO is the structure that guarantees efficient security.”
Macierewicz said that Poland “is convinced that this summit will stabilize the situation both in the south and in the east. NATO is a defense alliance, and as such it responds to threats.”
New Security Assurances
“For Poland, a country which freed itself from Soviet rule a quarter century ago, this event is an important event, and it proves to the public that there are no first and second category allies,” said Marek Jablonowski, a political scientist from the University of Warsaw. “The [Polish] government will push for more solidarity among NATO member states.”
The summit takes places at a time when a number of Eastern European allies are calling on NATO to reinforce its presence in the region due to their concern over an increasingly belligerent Russia. The Polish government hosts the high-profile event at the National Stadium in Warsaw — a modern construction launched in 2012 for the European soccer championship that can accommodate as much as 72,900 spectators.
The summit is a chance for Poland to draw more attention to Moscow’s hybrid warfare tactics and provide local allies with additional security assurances.
Ahead of the summit, NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said that the alliance aims to deploy four international battalions to Poland and the three Baltic states in response to Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. Member states are expected to reach an agreement on the initiative at the summit.
For Poland, which has called on NATO to establish permanent bases on the alliance’s eastern flank, this would count as a sign of NATO’s readiness to defend its Eastern European member states.
Increased Security Measures
In the wake of the Ukraine crisis, which involved Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula in March 2014, Warsaw has backed the Ukrainian government. The Polish government has also accelerated efforts to set up a joint brigade of 4,000 troops with Lithuania and Ukraine. The brigade, which is scheduled to be fully operational in 2017, is expected to increase the three countries’ interoperability, as well as spur joint exercises and operations.
Terrorist organizations are another major concern for a number of NATO member states, as indicated by the security measures implemented by the summit’s hosts. The National Stadium was closed to the public in June, and a 2.5-meter-high and 3-kilometer-long metal fence was erected around the sports facility. The area surrounding the stadium has been restricted to the public, and law enforcement officers were deployed around the fence.
The Islamic State group carried out an attack on a Turkish airport in Istanbul on June 28, which according to the state-run Anadolu news agency left in its wake 44 dead and more than 200 injured.
With this in mind, the Polish government recently inked a deal for the provision of non-kinetic countermeasures against UAVs during the July summit. The anti-drone countermeasures are intended for mini- and micro-class drones.