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    Should Mandatory Military Service be Reinstated in Poland? National Security Bureau Chief Advocates for Discussion

    The discussion over mandatory military service in Poland has been reignited by the Chief of the National Security Bureau (BBN), Jacek Siewiera. Siewiera advocates for a national debate on the matter, emphasizing that the current needs of the army extend beyond mere rifle drills on the training ground.

    In a recent statement, Siewiera proposed the notion of “mandatory civil service” rather than traditional military conscription. He highlighted that in Western countries, the topic of conscription or mandatory service is much more widely debated and intense compared to Poland.

    “It’s somewhat perplexing why this debate remains so challenging for us,” Siewiera remarked in an interview on the YouTube channel This is IT. He attributed this difficulty to the past perception of the army, shaped by the Soviet model: violent, disregarding human rights, and disciplined in a manner that served aggression rather than order.

    However, Siewiera stressed that today’s army offers diverse opportunities for individuals to pursue various ambitions, be they professional, academic, or personal. He pointed out areas such as logistics, planning, handling advanced weaponry, and cyber and cognitive warfare as examples of roles far removed from the front lines.

    “Bearing a rifle is just a small fraction of the army’s current needs,” Siewiera emphasized, noting that those engaging in combat are often from Special Forces units, where a strong commitment to service is essential.

    According to the BBN Chief, the debate on mandatory military service should be comprehensive, reflecting the broad nature of service itself.

    “It’s not just about mandatory military service, but about mandatory civil service—fulfilling certain tasks and obligations with the understanding that citizenship entails more than just participation in the job market, but also readiness to serve in times of war,” he underscored.

    Addressing questions from online viewers, Siewiera acknowledged potential challenges in mobilizing conscripts in the event of war. However, he expressed disbelief that authorities would resort to widespread searches for draft evaders across Europe.

    Furthermore, Siewiera affirmed that the military is inclusive of individuals with diverse sexual orientations.

    “When it comes to individuals with non-heterosexual preferences, there’s certainly room for them in the military, and no one should question or condition military service or positions based on sexual preferences,” the BBN Chief emphasized.

    The mandatory military service in Poland was suspended in 2009 with the transition to a professional army. However, Siewiera’s advocacy for a renewed debate suggests that the issue remains relevant and warrants further consideration in shaping the nation’s defense policies.

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