Expanding NATO’s intelligence-gathering capabilities and enhancing its ability to avoid penetration from opponents has become crucial, especially amid Russia’s Cold War-style war games, the North Korea crisis, and continuing cyberattacks. Under the stalwart leadership of Polish Minister of National Defense Antoni Maciewicz, the Alliance has opened a counter-espionage hub in Kraków. The NATO Counter Intelligence Centre of Excellence (CI COE) is a joint Polish-Slovak initiative, established with the support of Hungary, Romania, Croatia, Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany, Italy, and the Czech Republic.
Among key tasks facing the Alliance have been strengthening interoperability, a challenge that will be addressed through establishing policies and norms. Today, penetration affects much more than the armed forces, and can be implemented through classical espionage tools and cybernetic methods. The hub will develop a cohesive counterintelligence doctrine to defend armies and entire nations, a monumental task. Moreover, CI COE will conduct specialized training and provide coursework for operatives.
Minister Macierewicz has maintained a lifelong commitment to public service and a proven track-record of strengthening national security, often through the prism of intelligence. In the 1990s, as Minister of Internal Affairs, he led the daunting charge for de-communization. Years later, Minister Macierewicz founded the military intelligence agencies that have proven to be highly effective, immune from foreign influence, and in the vanguard of emerging security threats.
Presently, as the 16th Minister of National Defense of the Third Polish Republic, Minister Macierewicz doubled the size of his nation’s armed forces, spearheads a defense budget of 2 percent of GDP and increasing to 2.5 percent of GDP, and formed a new branch of the military modeled after the National Guard of the United States. At this watershed moment in history, Minister Macierewicz signed an agreement that strengthened armaments sector cooperation between Poland and Ukraine, and facilitated the monumental technology acquisitions by Poland from the United States.
Considered as one of the key leaders of the anti-communist resistance in Poland, Minister Macierewicz founded the Workers' Defense Committee, the forerunner of Solidarity, in 1976. Minister Macierewicz subsequently directed Solidarity’s Centre for Social Research. Minister Macierewicz was arrested over 20 times and his home was routinely searched. Following a brave escape from prison, he was in hiding until 1984, issuing underground publications and directing other anti-Communist efforts.
This maximally positive course of action undertaken by NATO and Minister Macierewicz has nevertheless been lambasted by some in the fringe left-of-center news media. One such paper, Gazeta Wyborcza, and its allies have engaged in a crusade to defend Soviet-era dictators Wojciech Jaruzelski and Czesław Kiszczak as well as manifest a disregard for the rule of law. Many have furthermore made the case that it is more than a coincidence that the attack upon Minister Macierewicz intensified following the signing of a memorandum on the acquisition of the Patriot system from the U.S., undercutting certain interest groups.
Edmund Janniger is the Director of the International Security Forum, an institution under the patronage of the Minister of National Defense of the Republic of Poland. His work at the Ministry of National Defense encompasses academic affairs and global engagement. Mr. Janniger holds the record as the youngest sub-cabinet official in Poland’s history. In the Parliamentary Office, Mr. Janniger has been the Deputy Chief of Staff to Minister Antoni Macierewicz and, during the 2015 elections, was the Deputy Campaign Manager for Law and Justice in the 10th District. Mr. Janniger has a proven track record directing complex political and policy-related matters. He holds an adjunct appointment at Marconi University, and was elected by the full Rutgers University Senate to three terms on its Executive Committee. Mr. Janniger splits his time between the Warsaw and New York metropolitan areas, has one young dog, and is an avid hiker. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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