Bundeswehr General Inspector Lt. Gen. Carsten Breuer has stated that Germany’s armed forces need to prepare for war within 5 years. In his view, the European Union is facing the threat of a possible war from outside for the first time since the end of the Cold War.
In recent weeks, generals in Germany, as in other European countries, have repeatedly stated the need to prepare for possible Russian aggression.
“If you look at the assessments of what potential military threat Russia poses, it means 5-8 years for us to prepare,” the Bundeswehr’s top general told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag.
This does not necessarily mean that war will happen, Breuer emphasized, but he noted that he sees in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions an intention to expand the war beyond Ukraine.
“I recognize Putin’s intention from what he writes and says, as well as his actions in Ukraine,” the German general explained.
In addition, Russia has transitioned to a war economy, he added.
Lt. Gen. Breuer also stresses that readiness for war means not only improving the army’s combat effectiveness but also changing people’s mindsets.
A November survey by the Körber Foundation found that 71% of respondents in Germany oppose the country taking on military leadership in Europe.
On 8 February, Bundeswehr Inspector General Carsten Breuer and German Defense Ministry Ukraine aide Major General Christian Freuding made an unannounced visit to Ukraine. The Bild reported that the officers were invited by outgoing Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi on the day of his dismissal.
The German Defense Ministry said the visit aimed to discuss Ukraine’s ongoing defense needs and future military challenges.