After a meeting between NATO's defense chiefs in Brussels, Dutch Adm. Rob Bauer, chairman of NATO’s military committee, told reporters "We have to realize it’s not a given that we are in peace," adding "that’s why we are preparing for a conflict with Russia."
Next week, around 90,000 NATO troops will begin months-long military drills to prove that the alliance can defend its border with Russia.
Bauer also stated that NATO governments need to start planning for mass mobilization of civilians in the case of war with Russia.
"It starts there — the realization that not everything is plannable and not everything is going to be hunky dory in the next 20 years," he said.
However Germany’s Defense Minister Boris Pistorius told a local outlet he believed a Russian attack could happen within a decade and as early as spring 2024 due to weakening support for Ukraine, as imagined in newly leaked German military documents.
Lithuania's Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis warned, "There is no scenario in this that if Ukraine doesn’t win, that could end well for Europe."
He and other senior NATO officials are concerned that while the alliance's militaries' weaponry and preparedness are depleting, Russia has "tripled its military expenditure to 40% of the entire national budget and is ramping up manufacturing," according to the Post.
"We need to be readier across the whole spectrum," Bauer said 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."