Ed Arnold, a European security researcher at the British think tank “Royal United Military Institute” (RUSI), recently wrote an article explaining that since the Russia-Ukraine war, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries have Readiness has continuously improved. , But “social readiness” also needs to be improved as soon as possible. to promote.
British Defense Secretary Grant Shapps warned in January this year that the world is transitioning from a “post-war” to a “pre-war” period, and the situation is becoming increasingly dangerous. Arnold pointed out that the UK may face current and future security challenges that need to be addressed in a “whole-of-society” model; Changing society is more difficult than adjusting military affairs, and the government must work to communicate with the public so that it remains urgent.
Arnold said the government must clearly communicate to the public the security risks facing the country and the costs of “action” and “inaction”. Among them, important topics include military sources, emergency mobility models, how to effectively cooperate across different sectors of society as well as conventional forces, industry, and the public. This also includes whether rulers have sufficient political will to promote the necessary legislation and fiscal budget work.
According to Arnold’s review article published on RUSI’s official website in late January,RussiaIt invaded Georgia and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea in 2008 and 2014, respectively, but at the time, except for the former Warsaw Pact Group countries, which were controlled by Moscow,natoMost member states did not realize the seriousness of the Russian threat; It was not until Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 that the situation was “too important to ignore.”
In June 2022, in the strategic concept released at the Madrid summit in Spain, NATO finally positioned Russia as a “threat” rather than a “partner” and vowed to defend “each NATO area”. Moscow has doubled the number of its multinational battle groups from four to eight. Moscow claims that “NATO’s eastward expansion ambitions threaten Russia’s existential security,” which is clearly not in line with the facts. .
While the war on Russia has intensified, the “internal weakness” of the armed forces of various European countries has been repeatedly exposed. The Ukrainian battlefield highlights the importance of adequate weapons and the fact that high technology does not always lead to “quick resolution” of conflicts.
An analysis released by RUSI in late November 2022 showed that in the face of Russian forces, British artillery and ammunition reserves might not be sufficient to sustain a combat campaign lasting a week; The relevant reserves of the German Bundeswehr are even more difficult to last two days… NATO countries have taken actions to strengthen their defense position over the past two years. In addition, since this year, more and more military and political leaders have begun to convey the message to the public through the media that “war is not far away.” ,
British Army Chief of Staff General Patrick Sanders noted in a speech in January that the UK needed to lay the foundation for “national mobilisation” beforehand; The common people must adjust their mentality and thinking and learn to think like the military, and be willing to provide adequate support to traditional armies and accept recruitment during war. The relevant comments immediately triggered a clarification from the Prime Minister’s Office that the UK is not currently planning to return to the (compulsory service) conscription system.
British Defense Ministry figures show the army has consistently failed to meet recruitment quotas since 2010. Arnold pointed out that although the media focus on issues of conscription and conscription, the core of the problem is that the public must face the possibility of war and recognize the specific impact of war on the existing way of life.
Arnold noted the practices of many countries that have adopted “whole-of-society” and “whole-of-defense” policies.
In early January,swedenCivil Defense Minister Carl-Oscar Bohlin noted at a defense affairs conference that “war could break out on Swedish soil”; Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Mikael Byden further stated that “all Swedes need to fight to prepare for war”.
In Sweden, which applies “absolute defence”, relevant statements are not only verbal warnings, but also include specific actions. For many years, the Swedish Civil Protection Emergency Service has provided the public with detailed and specific instructions on what and how to do in the event of a crisis or war, through a constantly updated website and manuals sent to every home.
Over the past one to two months, NATO and its member states have repeatedly made predictions about the time when Russia might attack NATO. General Rob Bauer, chairman of the NATO Military Committee, reported that NATO could be at war with Russia within 20 years. German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said that Russia could attack NATO within 5 to 8 years; A leaked German war preparedness plan envisaged Russia attacking NATO by 2025. German political and military circles have also begun to discuss whether it is necessary to reinstate conscription.
Military and intelligence units of Estonia, Norway, Poland and other countries estimate that Russia could attack NATO within three years.
Arnold said there is currently no public information indicating that the threat posed by Russia to NATO has increased significantly in the past month. One of the possible reasons why countries have increased their warnings involves “manpower”.