Thursday, February 3, 2011

Most Amusing Swag

In the course of this trip, we went to the Polish representatives at NATO: both their Ambassador and their MilRep.  A milrep is the senior military representative a country sends to NATO.  Usually a three star/leaf/whatever office, the MilRep represents their country at the Military Committee.  The MC, in turn, is a key part of the NATO process, advising the Supreme Allied Commander Europe [SACEUR], the Secretary-General and the North Atlantic Council [NAC].  Yep, acronym city. 

Anyhow, we got a bag full of Pr materials from the Polish representatives.  Some of it is quite helpful, documenting the Polish role in Afghanistan.  They have been in Eastern Afghanistan in a tough province without the restrictions that handicap other forces.

Included in the bag o' swag was a publication(Polska Zbrojna) on 20 years of Transformation from a communist, authoritarian, semi-obsolete military to a modern, democratic, civilian controlled military.  It is very interesting with interviews with past Ministers of Defense (MoDs) and Chiefs of Defense (CHODs), but a striking entry was on the state of women in the military.  It documented that there are fewer women in the Polish military than any other NATO member.  Heaps of path dependence here, but I could not help but take note of the title to the piece: Army's Prettier Side.  Um, oops. 

The other notable piece in the volume is by the Archbishop Major General Slawoj Leszek Glodz.  That's right Archbishop Major General.  Holy double hats, Batman!  This project started with an interest in double hats, and the fieldwork ends with double hats.  I wonder which chain of command is more likely to require caveats, calls home, and the like.

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