Germany may soon have to wage a ‘defensive’ war against Russia , the nation’s top soldier has warned. Bundeswehr Inspector General Carsten Breuer, Germany’s highest-ranking soldier, warned that the nation will have to get used to the notion that ‘one day we might have to fight a defensive war’, citing the aggressive behavior of Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin and his army’s slow, but steady, rearmament efforts.
While Russia faced a low point in the Spring of 2023, facing a massive shortage of vehicles, weapons and ammunition, its factories have increased the output of military equipment. Russia is producing more than 100 long-range missiles a month, up from 40 per month at the start of its invasion of Ukraine, the Royal United Services Institute reported.
On top of this, its artillery ammunition production has almost doubled, and was recently boosted by more than a million shells and hundreds of howitzers from North Korea . Iran has also set up factories that are solely aiding Russia’s war efforts.
Despite his concerns, Breuer was quick to say that Germany, a member of NATO since 1955, had the capability to defend itself: ‘We have no alternative. We can defend ourselves and we will defend ourselves.’ But he also admitted that the Bundeswehr isn’t currently set up for ‘national and allied defense’ as it is currently focused on resolving international crisis, adding that there are ‘structures that make quick and targeted decisions almost impossible.’
He said that the way to get around this was to ‘prepare for advances in technology and for even more intensified hybrid warfare. ‘The first step is to become aware of the threat. Not only we soldiers, but society as a whole must recognize the need for even more consistent deterrence.’
‘For decades, civil-military cooperation has always been thought of as a one-way street. When there was an emergency, in a catastrophe or during a pandemic, the Bundeswehr had to move in. But now we are experiencing the opposite: now we need support from society.’
Germany isn’t the only NATO member that has warned of an imminent attack from Russia. Last week, the head of Poland’s national security agency warned that Russia could trigger a third world war by attacking a NATO nation within the next three years.
Jacek Siewiera suggested that an attack could come from NATO’s eastern flank which includes countries such as Poland, Estonia, Romania and Lithuania. ‘If we want to avoid war, Nato countries on the eastern flank should adopt a shorter, three-year time horizon to prepare for confrontation.’
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