NewsWill Russia attack NATO countries? "5 to 10 years to prepare"

Will Russia attack NATO countries? "5 to 10 years to prepare"

Will Russia attack NATO countries? "5 to 10 years to prepare"
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ed. MCZ
2:51 PM EST, November 21, 2023

If the war in Ukraine becomes a stalemate, Russia could mobilize its land forces for an assault on NATO within a few years. The German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) analysis suggests NATO nations in Europe only have between 'five to nine years' to get militarily prepared for a possible Russian assault on Alliance territory.

NATO nations in Europe only have "five to nine years" to get militarily ready for a possible Russian assault on Alliance territory. Conclusions from analysis recently published by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) authored by Christian Moelling and Torben Schuetz from the Center for Security and Defense at the renowned Berlin think tank indicates that "only within a limited time can another war in Europe be effectively prevented".

Russia is heavily arming itself

The authors of the report note that Russia has already shifted its production from armaments to a war economy. "After nearly two years of war in Ukraine, Russia's war potential is greater than it currently appears. The land forces have suffered the most personnel and material losses," reads the "Preventing Another War" analysis.

Germany and NATO "are racing against time" to modernize their conventional forces to counterbalance the potential Russian calculation for a successful assault on NATO countries like Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

The DGAP security expert, Christian Moelling, refers to intelligence and military circles in Germany. The analysis aligns with the Bundeswehr's new defense policy guidelines, which German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius presented in early November. For the first time, he publicly used the term "readiness for war" as the goal of the Bundeswehr's restructuring.

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- The threat situation has changed. As the most populous and economically vital country in Central Europe, Germany must be the backbone of deterrence and collective defense in Europe - said the Defense Minister during the presentation of new guidelines for Germany's armed forces.

Predictions about possible time windows for NATO to prevent war by increasing deterrence assume that Russia will manage to freeze the war in Ukraine. This would give the Kremlin time to rebuild its land forces. But few in political Berlin expect a swift end to the war.

- Both sides have further military plans - claims Nico Lange, an expert on Ukraine and Russia from the Munich Security Conference, in an interview for DW. - We must anticipate this conflict will continue for quite some time.

Frozen front in Ukraine

Ukraine's commander-in-chief, Valeriy Zaluzhny, recently warned that military aid provided by about 50 countries, led by the USA, has only led to a "stalemate". Since June, the frontline in the east and south of Ukraine has hardly altered, even during the Ukrainian counter-offensive.

- However, Russia has an advantage in trench warfare due to its extensive defense industry with almost unlimited artillery - warns Austrian military analyst Markus Reisner in a DW interview. Ukraine can only succeed in a mobile war. For that to be possible in the spring, Ukraine needs the most advanced weapons from the West.

Many military experts believe that the front in Ukraine is transforming into an increasingly electronically controlled battlefield. The use of artificial intelligence in military operations has been gaining attention.

- The control of the electromagnetic field is crucial, wherein radios are used, and drones are controlled - said Markus Reisner in a DW interview.

Ukraine expert Nico Lange also confirms that Russia can now very effectively disrupt Ukrainian weapons using satellite control.

Have sanctions on technological products failed?

Even the HIMARS rocket launchers supplied by the USA, which Ukraine used to disrupt Russian supplies when reclaiming territories a year ago, are not immune to Russian disruption. - Russia is very adept at causing disruption - says Nico Lange.

Disruption means jamming an enemy's satellite, radar, and radio signals. This is particularly significant given that in the last two years, the war in Ukraine has primarily become a drone war. Drones do not attack with weapons and video images and, alongside satellite surveys, create a clear front. Russia is also equipping itself in this area, explains the expert.

Economic sanctions imposed by the EU and the USA have not stopped Russia from acquiring microchips and other advanced technological goods. Russia also has its satellite navigation system for tracking missile projectiles, says Nico Lange, security and Ukraine expert. This aspect was of course considered in the NATO armaments analysis conducted by the DGAP think tank.

Increasing NATO's deterrent power

According to the analysis in Berlin, there is a growing belief that Russia, with its current defense production, will be able to quickly rebuild its land forces so that its combat power would surpass the current NATO deterrent potential in a conventional European war.

- Experts and intelligence services estimate that Russia will require between six to ten years to rebuild its army to a level where it might dare to attack NATO - says DGAP analyst Christian Moelling.

In this context, NATO only has five to nine years to arm itself sufficiently to repel a Russian attack. - A Russian assault on NATO territory can no longer be ruled out. This implies the question is no longer whether Germany and NATO need to be ready for war, but when - added Moelling.

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