It would seem that the Polish MoD has a well thought through strategy in regards to the development of the Armed Forces. Unfortunately I start to doubt that is the case.

Not that long ago, I reported about the changes to Polish Special Operations Forces Command (POLSOFCOMM), which involved a division of responsibilities between the reformed POLSOFCOMM and the SOF Inspectorate. This was part of a general reorganization of the command structure in the Polish Armed Forces and all of our allies had been well aware of this change. Shocking as it may seem, three days after it officially went operational, POLSOFCOMM received an order to be disbanded.

The most surprised of all were the SOF guys themselves, with a good bit of them finding out that they no longer work for POLSOFCOMM from the media. With the initial reorganization, everyone had time to prepare and give our allies a heads up; this time no such liberty was given by the MoD. On January 3, just three days into its work, an order was issued by the MoD to disband the new POLSOFCOMM and establish a Special Operations Centre (SOC) by January 10.

This was to be a severe change compared to the reorganization that occurred just days before. The Command would lose its ability to command the units, set-up strategies, or provide training and logistical support, which were all reasons why POLSOFCOMM was actually created six years ago. Additionally, of the 250 staff, about 100 were to lose their jobs.

Economic Impact

One could think that something like this clearly suggests a push to cut spending on SOF and Armed Forces as a whole. But I do not see the logic. Why would they set up what they now call a “temporary structure” (reformed POLSOFCOMM), spend God only knows how much money on it (administrative expenses, signs, stamps etc.), only to throw that away after three days?

One of the reasons why POLSOFCOMM was actually established was to provide autonomy to SOF in regards to equipment purchases, training and logistics, all of which were big issues when SOF units were subordinate of the General Staff. This allowed POLSOFCOMM to establish a Force User-Force Provider method that sky-rocketed Polish SOF into the 21st Century; a method created based on combat experience that gives a command structure the possibility and responsibility on all aspects of work carried out from training and logistics up to execution of actual operations.

Does the MoD Know What It Is Doing?

Pretty much a better part of last year was utilized by POLSOFCOMM to prepare for the reorganization of the chain of command of the Armed Forces. One of the key aspects was to reassure our allies that the change would not have a significant impact on the readiness and performance of POLSOF. After all, many countries contributed greatly over the years to bringing POLSOF up to top NATO standards. Everyone had hoped that the changes would be for the better, and in this spirit Poland was awarded the prestigious title of being capable to deploy a NATO Response Force (NRF) Special Operations Component Command (SOCC).

This all changed just three days after the reform.