ARCHIVE – A Leopard 2 tank of the Polish army. Photo: Armin Weigel/dpa
“Possibly, this will be the highest percentage of the funds made available for the army among all NATO countries,” said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Monday when visiting an armed forces location in Siedlce in eastern Poland.
In times of peace, the states of the NATO defense alliance have set themselves the goal of increasing their defense spending to around two percent of economic output.
According to NATO figures for 2022, the front runner in the relationship between economic power and defense spending was Greece with a value of 3.76 percent. This was followed by the USA with 3.47 percent, which in absolute terms, however, spent 822 billion US dollars on defense, more than twice as much money as all other alliance states combined. Poland followed in third place with 2.42 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In absolute numbers, that was around 17.8 billion US dollars (16.3 billion euros).
The EU and NATO country Poland, which borders Ukraine, is massively arming itself against a threat from Moscow. Last year, for example, Warsaw ordered 250 Abrams battle tanks from the USA and concluded a multi-billion dollar deal with South Korea for the delivery of 400 battle tanks and 212 self-propelled howitzers.
The Polish armed forces currently number 164,000 soldiers, including 36,000 members of voluntary homeland security associations. In the coming years, the army is expected to grow to 250,000 professional soldiers and 50,000 homeland security personnel.