In Germany, there are growing concerns about whether the country can handle the security policy threat posed by Vladimir Putin's Russia now.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius called for a “serious national debate” about the country's future defence.
Pistorius has previously warned that Russia could attack Germany within eight years.
-Are we really capable of defending this country? Who is “we”? We have to have this discussion, Pistorius tells German recruits at an army camp in Hamburg on Thursday Watchman.
Swedish Defense Minister: Everyone must prepare for war in Sweden
Most of Europe has been able to enjoy peace through NATO for several decades. Pistorius confirms that this peace is no longer an undeniable reality.
More and more European defense leaders and politicians are urging citizens to prepare for wartime. The Swedish Defense Minister issued warnings just over two weeks ago.
British Chief of the Defense Staff, Sir Patrick Sanders, said this week that the rising generation You may have to prepare to go to war Against an increasingly aggressive Russia.
The US election campaign is in the fall and jokes are also in the background. The United States is by far the largest contributor to NATO and the largest nuclear power. Donald Trump, the likely Republican presidential nominee, has repeatedly expressed his criticism of NATO.
Putin's war hawks attack Sweden's war rhetoric
Warnings: – We need clarification
German opposition politician Markus Söder, leader of the Christian Social Union and Bavarian state minister, warned in a statement this week that Trump's victory could change European military strategy toward Russia.
– If Trump wins, we have to wear warm clothes. We need a fully equipped defense. We have a great need for our drones, and we need clarity on whether the US nuclear shield still exists, he says in the statement republished in 2018. Watchman.
Putin warns the West: – It was absolutely unthinkable
Norway and other European member states of NATO obtain security guarantees through the US nuclear weapons umbrella, which means that any country relies for its defense on nuclear weapons possessed by other countries, among other things.
Was the nuclear umbrella credible?
Netavisen spoke to a leading Norwegian expert on nuclear weapons policy. Kjolf Egeland is a nuclear weapons researcher and senior researcher at NorSAR.
He believes we should start by asking whether this nuclear umbrella over Europe is credible in the first place.
– Many senior politicians and experts on both sides of the Atlantic have raised strong doubts about this. Many thought it was not convincing, however, to believe that an American president would engage in a nuclear war, thereby risking the downfall of his nation – and to that extent the downfall of the entire world – for the benefit of allies on the other side of the world. The ocean, Egeland tells the online newspaper.
Egeland points out that both former President Richard Nixon and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger doubted that the United States would come to Europe's aid by launching a nuclear war.
Kissinger said frankly that the Europeans could not expect this. Nixon used the word “bullshit,” that it was just bullshit, and everyone knew it if they thought about it. He says this was Nixon's point of view.
Henry Kissinger (age 100) with grim prognosis before his death
“Regional Doomsday Machine”
Egeland says most Western coalition partners were very skeptical about the nuclear weapons umbrella during the Cold War.
This problem was circumvented by deploying thousands of nuclear weapons on the borders of the Warsaw Pact (the defense alliance between the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc countries).
– In the 1970s, there were 7,000 American nuclear weapons in Europe, including 4,000 in West Germany on the border with East Germany, Egeland says.
– The idea was that if the Warsaw Pact came under attack, it didn't really matter what the American president might think. He says there are already so many nuclear weapons deployed in Europe that leaders on the ground will be tempted to use them anyway, thus circumventing the credibility problem by creating what researchers call a “regional doomsday machine.”
Egeland says the so-called “regional doomsday machine” no longer exists in Europe. Most of the weapons were removed as a result of disarmament initiatives in the 1990s.
As of today, approximately 150 US nuclear weapons are believed to be deployed in Europe, distributed among five NATO countries (Turkey, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Italy).
-None of them are deployed near enemy borders, and they have a low readiness level. This means that preparing it for use will take a long time. This doomsday machine has now been dismantled in Europe, says Egeland.
It could quickly escalate into nuclear war
Egeland asserts that the conflict in Europe could quickly escalate into a nuclear war.
— but then the US president must effectively approve nuclear war on behalf of other countries in another part of the world. The nuclear scientist says this is what many believe seems unlikely.
Egeland wonders whether German politicians, including Markus Söder, who is now calling for clarity on the US nuclear shield, which remains in place if Trump wins, have thought about this in detail.
– I think they did not think carefully, but they were influenced by the theoretical idea that nuclear weapons constitute a magical source of security. He says: We have a story (narrative) in which nuclear weapons appear as something that automatically creates security.
– Do you think that Putin is convinced that Trump, if re-elected as President of the United States, will defend Europe with nuclear weapons against Russia, Egeland?
– So I have to answer from my own point of view, not from a research perspective. “I think Putin realizes that war can escalate, and that to the extent that the United States is involved in a conflict, that conflict could escalate to a point where nuclear weapons are used,” Egeland says.
– But I don't think it has much to do with official NATO documents or statements by American presidents. The nuclear scientist says: As long as you are allied with a country that possesses nuclear weapons, there is a possibility that the conflict will escalate at the initiative of this nuclear power and its desire to use nuclear weapons.
– Russia is worse equipped than everyone thought
– I think it is not realistic to believe that a nuclear state would fight a nuclear war to be “right” based on a moral idea or promise, he asserts.
Egeland says the Ukraine war taught us that it is entirely possible to resist Russian military power with conventional weapons.
He says the main finding in this war is that Russia is much less equipped to wage a conventional war than everyone thought before February 24, 2022.
Egeland was until recently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for International Studies at the famous Sciences Po University in France. He now works as a senior researcher at Norsar, the Norwegian national data centre Prosecution suspension agreement.
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