Top German general: 'We must be ready for war (with Russia) in 5 years'

Germany must increase its military preparedness to be ready for a potential war with Russia within the next five years, said Germany's highest ranking soldier, General Carsten Breuer, in an interview with Welt Am Sonntag released on Feb. 10.

NATO militaries have strengthened their capacity and preparedness since the beginning of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. While the prospect of the war escalating to an all-out clash between the alliance and Russia has so far been averted, there are concerns that the West has not truly accepted that it may still be a possibility.

Several NATO commanders and other alliance leaders have warned in increasingly stark terms in recent months about the dangers of such a war and what impact it could have across Europe.

German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius said in January that a war with Russia could occur within the next five to eight years, and a top German NATO general warned that Russian missiles could likely target Germany in the event of such a conflict.

Breuer, whose official title is inspector general of the German Armed Forces, told Welt Am Sonntag that Russia has both the military potential and intention to extend its aggression beyond Ukraine.

In terms of Germany's support for Ukraine, which has significantly increased after a slow start in 2022, Breuer said that "I really can't see that there is a conscious limitation of help anywhere."

The only limiting factor, Breuer said, is Germany's industrial capacity, which should be improved.

Breuer also said that the standing size of the Bundeswehr, Germany's army, should also grow to more than 200,000 personnel, up from its current strength of around 180,000.

Read also: NATO official warns of ‘all-out war’ with Russia within next 20 years

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