Cold War Lunchtime Lecture: Allied discourse in the post-Cold War Polish air power doctrine

Lysander Avenue, Shifnal, West Midlands, United Kingdom

Friday, September 27, 2019 - 12:30 to 14:30

As part of the RAF Museum’s 2019 series of Cold War Lunchtime Lectures, Dr Maria Ewa Burczynska will discuss Allied discourse in the post-Cold War Polish air power doctrine.


The situation in Europe was very clear during the Cold War – there were easily defined opponent blocks: NATO and the Warsaw Pact, preparing for a large-scale, symmetric conflict. The end of the bi-polar order marked a shift in defence policies and transformation of western militaries leading them towards an increased engagement in multinational operations. For example, after the collapse of Soviet Union, the US shifted their concerns towards global security treats such as ‘failed states’, terrorism, ethnic and religious conflict, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The situation looked very different for the European states which did not shift their interests towards the global dimension as quickly and smoothly focusing primarily on national and regional security. Nevertheless, facing a changing security environment in Europe, they also started to re-define their strategic thinking. 
The transformation of Polish strategic thought began with the end of the Cold War and disintegration of the Warsaw Pact in 1991. At that point, Poland found itself in a situation where it could not only develop its own strategic documents but also had to learn how to do it independently and without external directives. The period of almost 25 years involved deep changes in strategic thinking and creating own national documents. It also resulted in transformation of the whole Armed Forces, what remained not without an influence on the shape of the Polish Air Force and the doctrines they use. This paper investigates that process of the development of allied context in strategic thinking in Poland as a country aspiring, at that time, to join the western security structures. Following that, it explores how the shift in strategic thinking and allied discourse is reflected in the air doctrines published in Poland during last 25 years.


United Kingdom
West Midlands
Lysander Avenue, Cosford, Shifnal, TF11 8UP