Dispute with MoD partly over President's powers - Security Bureau chief
Pawel Soloch, head of the National Security Bureau (BBN), on Friday said the dispute between President Andrzej Duda and the Defence Ministry was partly over the former's say in the army's command and leadership system.
His comments came in the wake of the President's unexpected decision not to nominate new generals, as is the custom, on Polish Armed Forces Day, August 15.
Speaking in an interview with the wpolityce.pl web portal, Soloch explained that according to Duda, "because of the ongoing work on the new command and leadership system, it is not possible to appraise the proposed candidatures with respect to their merits and in line with the army's needs".
Soloch pointed out that "the dispute is partly about the president's fundamental powers over the army's leadership and command system".
The BBN head added that the defence ministry rejected his institution's idea to set up a joint forces command, a structure designed to facilitate cooperation between the various parts of the army: land forces, the air force, the navy, the special forces, as well as the territorial defence force.
In contrast, the defence ministry postulates the establishment of a Training and Command Inspectorate, headed by a defence minister's appointee.
"He would be positioned above the commanders of the different forces, who are appointed, in line with the constitution, by the president", Soloch stressed.
He added BBN had received, from the defence ministry, a new command and leadership bill. In response, the security bureau presented its stance on the project in late June and was awaiting a reply.
Soloch also stressed relations between the President and the defence minister were being soured by the case of a BBN official, general Jaroslaw Kraszewski, who was being vetted by the military counterintelligence service.
"If the controlling procedure was finished as soon as possible and the whole case fully explained, it would help restore adequate relations between our institutions", he said.
"As of today, the president has no information which could undermine his trust in the general", the BBN head concluded.