Europe on alert: Putin's aggressive move towards Ukraine may signal ominous expansion plans
With a nearly two-year record of sophisticated military operations, the Kremlin is gaining momentum. However, the war in Ukraine is not progressing as anticipated, with the swift victory initially expected by the Kremlin remaining elusive.
To adapt, Russia shifted its tactics. Daily, Ukraine endures missile assaults, characterized by their unpredictable nature. It's impossible to foretell where these missiles will land, with many targeting infrastructural components deep within Ukraine's territories.
The NATO generals, in discussion with the 'Los Angeles Times', emphasize that Europe should gear up to withstand a likely Russian offensive. Their projection suggests a short timeline for preparation as they foresee a potential Kremlin offensive within three years.
If Putin chose to proliferate the conflict throughout Europe, NATO Command believes the most probable initiation would be a missile assault. Europe should brace for confrontations not just at the frontlines but also further within its territories, with both military and civilian infrastructure at risk.
General Alexander Sollfrank, the Commander of the NATO Logistics Centre situated in south-west Germany, identifies a pattern behind the Kremlin's tactics.
"Comparing the wars and operations from ten or five years ago, it's clear that fighting will also encompass the rear areas," emphasizes the military official.
The German general highlights the need to eliminate bureaucracy that can lead to peculiar complications. For instance, paratroopers were restricted from using parachutes meant for armies from different nations, despite their functional similarities.
General Jan-Willem Maas, Chief of the Support Command of the armed forces of the Netherlands, supports Sollfrank's views. He anticipates Ukraine merely represents the first phase of the Moscow autocrat's military advances. Simultaneously, he reassures that NATO vigilantly observes the activities of the Russian military and is suitably prepared for any potential aggression.
"Putin's actions to date enable us to position ourselves effectively for the next operations. Considering how Europe consolidated after his attack on Ukraine, there are reasons to remain hopeful," explains the Dutch general.
The generals warn of the unpredictability of Putin's actions. Despite this, they affirm that Europe is better prepared. As per their hypothesis, three years from now, when the Kremlin aggression is projected to escalate, Europe will be fully capable of neutralizing any attack.