My heart goes out to Poland. How incredibly tragic. My heart goes out to the folks in Kyrgyzstan as well, and political upheaval is certainly a traumatic event for the people there.
I put this in the Afghanistan category, because as we speak, there are several thousand Polish troops in Afghanistan that could possibly be called back to deal with their crisis. When the entire leadership is wiped out by an unfortunate air crash, there are just too many possibilities of what could happen. There was not much support for the war in Afghanistan, and new leadership might change direction on Poland’s involvement in the war. I think it would be wise for today’s war planners to set in place some contingency stuff, if in fact Poland wants or even needs their troops back home.
So that brings up the question, who would replace those troops if they had to scoot? I brought this up a couple weeks ago in regards to NATO forces faltering and for whatever reason, having to leave the Afghan war. That contractors can be used to back fill, as NATO or ISAF finds replacement forces.
In Kyrgyzstan, there has been some political unrest that has impacted Manas operations. They actually halted all flights out of there today, and that is not good. If logistics cannot depend upon the Manas air base there, then other options will have to be looked at. The problem is though, that so much logistics goes through Manas, that there is a risk that operations will be negatively impacted in Afghanistan because of this hiccup. So will this mean that a new route or new air base will come on to the scene? Will transportation on land increase because of what is going on, and what will that mean for private industry?
I also called these incidents a Black Swan event, because they were not predicted, they will change the political landscape, and war planners will now have to look at contingency plans to deal with problems related to both of these countries. -Matt
April 10, 2010
By David McQuaid and Piotr Skolimowski
April 11 (Bloomberg) — Polish President Lech Kaczynski and central bank Governor Slawomir Skrzypek were killed yesterday along with several key members of the country’s political elite when their plane crashed in western Russia, where they were to mark the 70th anniversary of a massacre of Polish officers.
The 60-year-old president’s wife, Maria, and leaders of the country’s main opposition parties and military, including the Army Chief of Staff Franciszek Gagor, also died, Foreign Ministry spokesman Piotr Paszkowski said in a phone interview. The crash, which happened as the aircraft was on approach for landing in Smolensk, killed all 96 on board, according to Russia’s Emergency Ministry.
Under Poland’s constitution the duties of the president, which are largely ceremonial, will be assumed by the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Bronislaw Komorowski. He will set a date for a presidential election within two weeks and the vote must be held within 60 days. Komorowski is the candidate of Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s Civic Platform party and polls show he was poised to defeat Kaczynski in presidential elections, originally scheduled for the second half of the year.