In an interview with the Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Carsten Breuer, Chief of the German General Staff, stated that “getting ready for war” is a process, “But we don’t have infinite time because for the first time since the end of the Cold War, a possible war is being dictated to us from the outside. When I follow analysts and see the potential military threat from Russia, it means 5 to 8 years of preparation time for us.”
Emphasizing that this does not mean that war will break out then, Breuer said, “But it is possible, and since I am a soldier, I say that we must be ready for war within 5 years.”
On the question of how high he sees the likelihood of Russian President Vladimir Putin extending his influence beyond Ukraine, German Chief of Staff Breuer said: “First of all, this includes intent. I see it in what Putin writes and says and in his actions in Ukraine. This includes military potential. We have seen Russia move to a war economy with the Duma decision. The probability is increasing right now.”
“A mental transformation is needed, especially in the German army”
Breuer said that when German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius spoke for the first time about being ready for war, it woke people up, adding that in the end it was a question of self-defense and not letting the opponent decide to attack.
“This is deterrence,” Breuer said, adding that being ready for war requires a change in mindset.
“There is a lot involved in being ready for war. In addition to personnel and material readiness, we also need a change in mentality. A change of mindset is needed both in society and especially in the German army.”
Asked whether there are contributions that Germany has committed to (in NATO) but will fulfill later than promised, Breuer said: “Yes, there are, but I won’t say them. It is secret for good reasons. The enemy gets information from all possible sources, including newspapers.”
Breuer noted that the German Armed Forces, like NATO, are undergoing a transformation.
Germany had decided to drastically increase defense spending
Following the Russia-Ukraine War, Germany decided to drastically increase its defense spending and created a special fund of 100 billion euros to purchase advanced weapon systems and modernize the country’s armed forces.
The government has signed numerous contracts, including the purchase of US-made F-35 fighter jets, Chinook transport helicopters and the Israeli-made Arrow-3 missile defense system.