Whatever the outcome of the war in Ukraine, Russia has already suffered a “strategic defeat.” This is the opinion of General Thierry Burkhard, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces [CEMA] during the inaugural conference of the Chair of Major Contemporary Strategic Issues at the Sorbonne on January 22, as reported by Le Figaro.
“If the conflict ends today, what would be the outcome? Ukraine defied all odds. Sweden and Finland joined […] NATO [du moins, Stockholm est sur le point de le faire, ndlr]. The Russian army is in critical condition. It no longer poses a threat to NATO. Russia has established a vassalization link with China. It has placed itself in a situation of strategic defeat,” CEMA said.
However, Grant Shapps, the British Defense Secretary, is not entirely on the same line. “Now another worrying factor is emerging: our adversaries are more closely linked,” he said in a recent speech at Lancaster House on January 15. “Russia claims […] “A 'borderless partnership' with China” and “counts on Iranian drones and North Korean ballistic missiles to bomb Ukraine,” he added.
Meanwhile, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius has again warned of the danger of war [ce qu’il fait régulièrement depuis plusieurs semaines…], during an interview broadcast by ZDF on January 21st. Although a Russian attack does not appear likely “for now,” he explained that it could happen in a few years. “Our experts believe there will be a period in five to eight years where this could be possible,” he said. In addition, “we must be capable of war,” he emphasized.
In October, Mr Pistorius had already said more or less the same thing… “We have to get used to the idea that there could be a war in Europe” and that “means we have to prepare for a war, that.” “We have to “We will be able to defend ourselves and prepare the Bundeswehr and society for this,” he explained on the same channel. Since then, the question of restoring a new form of military service has arisen across the Rhine.
There is also talk in Sweden of preparing the civilian population for a possible war. “My main goal is not to scare, but to raise awareness of the situation. I want to open a door: a door that is often blocked and clogged by the demands and challenges of daily life. A door that many Swedes may have kept closed their entire lives. A door to a room where we face an important question: Who are you when war breaks out? », said Carl-Oskar Bohlin, the Swedish Minister for Civil Protection, on January 7th.
Apparently this question also “works” for General Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of the British Army. So during a conference organized in Twickenham [dont le stade pourrait réunir tous les soldats de l’armée britannique]He felt that society across the Channel needed to prepare for the possibility of war.
It is “imperative, not just desirable,” to “take preparatory measures to place our societies on a war footing if necessary.” “This is an action that must mobilize the entire nation,” General Sanders said. “Ukraine shows that professional armies start wars and citizen armies win them,” he added.
“Our predecessors did not understand the effects of the so-called July Crisis of 1914 and found themselves in the most terrible war of all time. We cannot afford to make the same mistake today,” the British Army chief continued.
However, reintroducing compulsory military service is out of the question for him. However, he continued: “We need an army that is designed to grow rapidly from a first echelon and provide resources to a second echelon, then train and equip the citizen army that will follow.” In the next three years we can speak of a British army of 120,000 men including reservists. But it still won't be enough.” Clearly, the aim is to lay the foundations for a possible “national mobilization”… at a time when the British Armed Forces – and the British Army in particular – are experiencing a professional crisis.
Such remarks echo recent comments by the chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Dutch Admiral Rob Bauer. “We need public and private actors to change their mentality to move from an era in which everything was planned, predictable, controllable and focused on efficiency to an era in which anything can happen at any time,” he explained last week .