Alarming warnings are coming from countries all around Europe, and from NATO itself that war with Russia is imminent. It seems only months ago officials were laughing at Russia’s inability to conquer all of Ukraine, and now across Europe, they are warning of impending war with Putin’s armies. In the NY Post, Ronny Reyes reports on warnings from Norway, writing:
The head of the Norwegian armed forces is warning fellow NATO countries that they only have “two, maybe three” years to brace for a Russian attack — just days after it was revealed that Germany is preparing for the likelihood as well.
Norwegian Gen. Eirik Kristoffersen claimed Moscow is building up its military stockpile at a rate far faster than previously predicted, all while Western nations have depleted their own weapons by supplying them to Ukraine, according to local outlet Daglabet.
“There is a window now that will perhaps last for one, two, maybe three years, where we have to invest even more in a secure defense,” Kristoffersen told NTB, Norway’s press agency, on Sunday.
In Politico, Nicolas Camut reports on the head of the British army, General Patrick Sanders’s warnings to “mobilize the nation” to prepare for war against Russia. Camut writes:
General Patrick Sanders on Wednesday called on the British authorities to “mobilize the nation” to prepare for a war with Russia, in a speech at the International Armoured Vehicles exhibition in London.
Although he does not support conscription, Sanders stressed the need for a “shift” in the minds of the British public to be mentally ready for a military conflict with Russia.
And he called for Britain to train a “citizen army” ready for a land war — as he questioned the size of the country’s army and urged its modernization.
“Within the next three years, it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120,000, folding in our reserve and strategic reserve. But this is not enough,” he said.
“We will not be immune and as the pre-war generation we must similarly prepare — and that is a whole-of-nation undertaking,” he said. “Ukraine brutally illustrates that regular armies start wars; citizen armies win them.”
Nikolaj Nielsen reports in Eurobserver that Lithuania’s minister of foreign affairs, Gabrielius Landsbergis has raised the spectre of war. Nielsen writes:
“If Russia is not stopped in Ukraine, it could continue. And then it’s Baltic states who would be next,” Gabrielius Landsbergis, Lithuania’s minister of foreign affairs, told reporters in Brussels on Monday (22 January).
Speaking ahead of a ministerial meeting that included a video conference with Ukrainian foreign minister Dmitry Kuleba, Landsbergis said immediate efforts are needed to prepare for a possible conflict with Russia.
The Independent’s Arpan Rai reports that Germany’s defense minister, Boris Pistorius has also warned of Russian attacks. Rai writes:
Vladimir Putin could launch an attack on Nato in the next five to eight years, Germany’s defence minister has said – with one top officer within the alliance even calling on nations to be ready for an all-out war with Moscow within two decades.
With the Russian president’s rhetoric towards Nato nations becoming increasingly hostile, conflict could come at any time.
“We hear threats from the Kremlin almost every day … so we have to take into account that Vladimir Putin might even attack a Nato country one day,” Boris Pistorius said.
While a Russian attack is not likely “for now”, the minister told German outlet Der Tagesspiegel, he added: “Our experts expect a period of five to eight years in which this could be possible.”
On Thursday, top Nato military commander Admiral Rob Bauer said private citizens need to be ready for a possible conflict within 20 years.
In Sweden, only recently a neutral country, the minister of civil defense, Carl Oskar Bohlin, warned of war. Astri Edvardsen reports in High North News:
“There could be war in Sweden,” said Swedish Minister for Civil Defense Carl-Oskar Bohlin (Moderates) at the recent Society and Defense conference in Sälen, Sweden.
“Creating resistance in society cannot wait” was the title of Bohlin’s speech. He emphasized that all Swedes must be aware of the situation and concretely prepare for war.
With Russia in mind, this clear message was also delivered by several members of the Swedish defense leadership during the conference.
“An armed attack against Sweden cannot be ruled out. War can also come to us,” added MoD Pål Jonson (Moderates) in his speech.
“We must grasp the seriousness of the situation and mentally prepare at an individual level. Watch news from Ukraine and ask the simple questions: If this happens here, do I have what I need? What will I do?” said Chief of Defense General Michael Bydèn to TV4.
As the ultimate consequence, Swedish citizens must be prepared to defend the country “with weapons in hand – at the risk of their lives,” stated Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson (Moderates).
And even NATO itself is warning of “all-out war with Russia.” Melissa Koenig reports in the New York Post:
An all-out war with Russia could develop within the next 20 years, a top NATO official has warned as the bloc prepared for its biggest military exercises in decades.
“We have to realize it’s not a given that we are in peace,” Dutch Adm. Rob Bauer, chairman of NATO’s military committee, told reporters after a meeting of the alliance’s defense chiefs in Brussels.
“And that’s why we [NATO forces] are preparing for a conflict with Russia,” he said.
His warning came ahead of next week’s start of military drills — involving around 90,000 troops and lasting months — aimed at proving the alliance can defend its territory up to its border with Russia.
Bauer also said that a large number of civilians would also need to be mobilized in case of war, and argued that governments in the alliance need to start planning for such a massive mobilization.
The coordination and urgency of these warnings from European officials and NATO admirals must be taken seriously.
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