Warning to Poland: ESCALATE!
Recognising that you are under attack is half of your defence. You are quite correct in characterising the situation on your border with Belarus as hybrid warfare, a violent kinetic/psychological attack that’s designed to elicit a humanitarian response, thereby paralysing the target population, either through helplessness in the face of a “humanitarian crisis” that the target assumes responsibility for, or by causing strife amongst the defenders. As we have seen in these attacks, as amongst Palestinians, who are masters at it, women and children are weaponised into human shields 2.0. The women and children, especially the children, are not (just) there to stop your soldiers from shooting the attackers, they are there to erode the resolve of your population. Confronted with suffering children, your own humanity will be used as a weapon against you. If you do not seize the initiative, the only way to confront this abuse of your humanity would be to harden your hearts, which means you split your population and lose even sooner.
There is only one effective way of dealing with hybrid attacks: escalation dominance. This means, e.g., that instead of passively guarding the border from within your territory, only responding to incursions, you go on the offensive with more powerful hybrid attacks of your own, such as by using water canon not just to drive back attackers, but to reduce the entire no-man’s land to an impassable quagmire at the same time as blasting extremely loud piecing sound at the attackers, which renders their human shield ineffective by driving the women and children away from the border without your resorting to violence. This has the added advantage of keeping the women and children out of sight of your own population. The point is that whatever they do, you must do worse, using all means short of violence, including compounding the effects of freezing temperatures by keeping the attackers wet.
The measures you are taking are far too little and far too late. Your attackers are dominating the escalation, leaving you to always react. Yet you have so many strong cards to play: the Paris-Moscow rail link that you can sever; tens of thousands of pigs that you can release into the border buffer zone; making it extremely easy for Belorussian citizens to move to Poland. Remember the Austrian/Hungarian border and the GDR back in 1989? East Germany haemorrhaging its brightest and best very quickly brought down the entire Soviet system. When they bring you hybrid warfare, fight back with better hybrid warfare.
You have done exactly the right thing to deny NGOs and the media access to the border. But if you are not prepared to engage in escalation dominance, your attackers will simply keep escalating until your own population cannot take it anymore. In hybrid warfare, all your enemy has to do is to provoke your military to a point just below where they respond, at the same time as pushing the children forward, including, e.g., tying a child to a pole and hoisting it across the border. Your soldiers’ nerves will be very fragile by this point. The attackers would be hoping that something happens to the child that will cause your population to turn against you. It is exactly the same tactic as Palestinians deliberately putting their children in harm’s way so as to show how cruel the Israelis are. By the way, every Gaza war is a hybrid war.
Finally, you already know that the EU wants these attackers to enter the bloc. The attackers tell the media "We just want to go to Germany," as if Poland is a public footpath. There are many, much easier ways of getting to Germany. Whose idea was it that Muslims should attack the border of thorn-in-the-flesh Poland, just as the EU announces that it is not prepared to help its frontier members reinforce their borders? Green light, or what? You also already know that there is more to Angela Merkel's talking to Putin/Lukashenko/Erdoǧan over the head of Poland than meets the eye. At least the Western European media realise that this time they cannot refer to these attackers as "refugees", so they stick to calling them "migrants" (although DW occasionally slips up — old habits die hard).
Your people already know that they face a hybrid war, but do they know that they are not facing a "migration crisis"? It only becomes a crisis when you accept responsibility for what happens to the people attacking your country. The attackers want a child to die on your border. You must resist all pressure and temptation to accept responsibility for what happens to the attackers, including especially their children, because such pressure can cause your society to implode. Beware of expressions of solidarity from those who have been the main facilitators of the invasion of Europe: Germany, France and the UK. The latter two have for two years been playing musical chairs on the deck of the Titanic, and now that it has sunk, are arguing over who won.
Who is using whom? The superficial story is that Lukashenko is taking revenge on the EU for imposing sanctions on his country after his fraudulent election victory. Certainly, this war serves his purposes. But Lukashenko is far too weak and far too stupid to come up with something like this on his own, let alone pull it off. The candidates for what's really going on are: one, Putin/Lukashenko/Erdoǧan are using the Muslim imperative to invade and subjugate Europe to erode the EU and NATO in general, and Poland and the Baltic states in particular; two, the EU is using Putin/Lukashenko/Erdoǧan to put pressure on the Troublesome Twelve, and on Poland in particular, for having the temerity to ask for money to strengthen their borders; and three, Muslims are using Putin/Lukashenko/Erdoǧan to help overcome the only remaining resistance to the Islamisation of Europe. The question on my mind is whether two and three are sides of the same coin.
Poland is doing the other critical thing: cementing the relationship between the population and the armed forces. Yet this necessary measure will be under constant threat so long as your attackers can keep their children at the border. Standing in solid rows on your side of the line is not enough. Not only will the world blame you when a child dies on your border, you will blame yourself. And then you will be anxious to show that you are not evil. That is when they'll put the knife in, and you will thank them for doing so. As important as it is to know your enemy, it is even more important to know yourself, especially if your enemy has no ethics at all, weaponising their own children. Your guilt when a catastrophe involving children occurs while you resisted attack is an unavoidable human reaction. Therefor you must escalate and dominate the escalation — you should have done so already — to force your attackers to take their children away from the frontier. Yes, they are using winter against you, but it is your winter. You can use it better.
Thank you for standing firm. You have a civilisation to save.