TimeTestedNews |NATO warns of all-out war with Russia in the next 20 years

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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.

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“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.

Others have said an attack could be even more imminent, with Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius warning that Russian President Vladimir Putin could attack NATO countries in less than a decade, he told German outlet Der Tagesspiegel.

Newly leaked German military documents even imagine a scenario in which Russia launches a massive Spring 2024 attack to take advantage of waning Western support for Ukraine, though a German official called the scenario “extremely unlikely,” according to Business Insider.

Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis is also calling on Europe to speed up preparations for such an attack.

“There’s a chance that Russia might not be contained in Ukraine,” Landsbergis said, warning: “There is no scenario in this that if Ukraine doesn’t win, that could end well for Europe.”

He and other senior NATO officials have become increasingly concerned that their governments and private arms manufacturers are falling behind in preparations for an attack, as stockpiles of weapons and ammunition continue to dwindle from the conflict in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russia has tripled its military expenditure to 40% of the entire national budget and is ramping up manufacturing.

The country has also rejected an American proposal to reopen an arms control dialogue, with officials arguing the US is simply seeking a strategic defeat of Russia in Ukraine as the New Start treaty — which limits long-range US and Russian nuclear weapons — is set to expire in February 2026, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“We need to be readier across the whole spectrum,” Bauer said in his remarks Thursday.

“You have to have a system in place to find more people if it comes to war, whether it does or not. Then you talk mobilization, reservists or conscription.

“You need to be able to fall back on an industrial base that is able to produce weapons and ammunition fast enough to be able to continue a conflict if you are in it.”

In December, Putin denied President Biden’s claims that Russia could go to war with NATO, describing them as “complete nonsense.”

Still, some 90,000 NATO troops are set to begin the bloc’s largest military exercise since the Cold War.

The operation, named Steadfast Defender, is specifically designed to prepare the alliance for a Russian invasion.