Sunday, February 3, 2008

Poland takes the NATO line on “War on terror”

NATO, widely identified as a Western counter-bloc to Soviet-era Warsaw Pact, will next year celebrate its 60th anniversary and Poland, a major component of now defunct Warsaw Pact will celebrate as a major ally and member of the Western military alliance.

Speaking to journalists, Brigadier General J. Biziewski, Commander, Polish Battle Group, RC-East, Afghanistan said, “NATO and Warsaw Pact... they were completely different organisations. NATO was very much prepared, and also Warsaw Pact, for the static... maybe not so static, but very much regular fight.” About joining NATO, Biziewski said, “We really were asking for this... to create a secure environment for my country. We achieved it. Obviously with assistance, with support from different other countries, mainly the NATO countries, from European countries, but also from the US.”

Agreeing that the present Afghan deployment is different, General said, “Now we are facing completely different environment. I think one of the most challenging because of the nature of the environment, but also because lack of understanding with the language and the culture which are very much hindering our activities. And insurgence is very... very much complex and are complicated issue to be and threat to be fought.”

Highlighting the importance of “coordinating actions between actors involved in those operations, the intelligence sharing, the very much accurate weapons,” the Polish commander said, “I think first and the most important, is to win the minds and hearts of the local population.”

The General expressed satisfaction over the way translators, or interpreters help and adding that the humanitarian aid carried by the soldiers is “very much appreciated by the people. And instead even of words, just signs, just the product provided to the people they say for their own.”

Asked to comment on returns for such goodwill gestures from NATO, he said, “If they get enough assistance to have the future... for the people, for the youngsters, so those younger guys they will not go to Pakistan for Madrassas.” “Because they go to Madrassas in Pakistan, they are indoctrinated there and after that they are going back to Afghanistan and they are doing what they... what they are ordered to do.” “So, from my perspective, the key for success in this field is to have as much as possible close ties with local population, with those elders, with mullahs, to educate people, to assist them in the basic needs, with the basic needs. They don’t require too much, but they’re just asking to have something from us to be able to survive with their community.”

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