A crisis – regardless of its scale – can strike at any time. It doesn’t matter if it’s a traffic accident, a cyber attack that disrupts electricity and gas supplies for days, or warfare. We as a society should be prepared for all of these. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes it brutally clear that only a prepared society will be able to survive while giving strength and support to the fighting defenders.
The asymmetry in the military potential of Poland and Russia means that the most effective way to counterbalance the capabilities of a potential adversary is to adopt a total force or total defense strategy. In Poland, the concept of Total Defense was adopted in the National Security Strategy. It assumes that to defend the sovereignty of the state the whole state and society is involved, and the armed forces are only one element of the defense system. The strategy of total defense considers, among other things, the appropriate formation of the armed forces so that they can most effectively resist aggression to their own territory, but it also assumes: training of society, preparation of civil defense and adaptation of individual institutions to functioning in a situation of armed conflict.
The primary task of the State is to defend its borders and citizens. To do this, there is a need for strategic thinking and action beyond political divisions. Without a prepared society there will be no possibility of effective defense. Yes, the professional army (including WOT) is and will be the basis for national security. However, without the support of a prepared society their strength will be insufficient and short-lived.
This is what prompted us to examine Poles’ readiness for crises. We commissioned the research from Maison&Partners and we conducted it in partnership with the portal Defence24.pl. Conducted research confirms that Polish society is willing to defend and support the defense of the homeland, but on the other hand it is very poorly prepared for it. However, what is optimistic – the society wants to educate itself in this area.
Defense experts emphasize that the process of preparing the society should start at school – from teaching specific, practical skills such as first aid, knowledge of the location of protective facilities such as bunkers, or finally, handling weapons. The school currently does not accomplish these goals effectively.
As a State, as a society, we must prepare for any crisis. A growing sense of security and confidence will be an additional bonding factor in our society and build mutual trust.
- Readiness to engage in the defense of the country if war is declared by 66% of adult Poles, of which 17% – in frontline combat, and 49% in other activities related to defense, but without combat.
- Every third adult Pole would prefer not to get involved in defending the country, and leave it to the appropriate services.
- Men more often than women declare that in the case of a threat/crisis, they would know how to behave and that in case of need, they have useful items.
- 69% of Poles do not know what a “survival backpack” is and what should be in it. Only 3% have it prepared.
- 50% of Poles declare that they would not know how to behave in case of war or terrorist attack. Moreover, in case of war, almost half of Poles (48%) would stay at home and wait for instructions from the authorities/army.We invite you to read the full report: