Polish president says costs of Afghan war hampering military's modernization

BRUSSELS (AP) — Poland's president says the rising cost of the war in Afghanistan is hampering a program to modernize the military.

Nonetheless, Bronislaw Komorowski says Poland remains committed to the NATO-led war effort.

Speaking after a meeting with the NATO secretary-general Wednesday, Komorowski said other NATO countries' defense budgets also were strained because of the cost of maintaining forces so far from home.

Poland spends upward of $1 billion annually to finance its 2,600-member contingent in Afghanistan — about 10 percent of its national defense budget.

The 100,000-strong Polish armed forces are in the midst of a program designed to replace aging Soviet-made equipment.