Published On: Wed, Jan 17th, 2024

NATO issues urgent ‘prepare for war’ warning with world now ‘most dangerous in decades’ | Politics | News

Europe must “prepare for war” if it wants peace, a top NATO military commander has declared.

Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of NATO’s military committee, said the alliance needs to maximise “our preparedness” for conflict to deter an invasion.

He warned “there are many more steps to be taken to get where we want to be for our collective defence”.

And Admiral Bauer declared Ukraine will have “our support for every day that is to come” as “the outcome of this war will determine the fate of the World”.

Admiral Bauer told NATO’s military chiefs: “If you want peace, prepare for war.

“Maximising our preparedness and our deterrence helps to minimise the chance of a conflict ever arising.”

During remarks ahead of a meeting in Brussels, Admiral Bauer added: “We have to make sure that political will is matched with military capabilities. And with the rules-based international order being under immense pressure, the importance of this cannot be overstated.

“The tectonic plates of power are shifting. And as a result: we face the most dangerous world in decades.

“Militarily, there are many more steps to be taken to get where we want to be for our collective defence. However, the responsibility for freedom does not lie on the shoulders of those in uniform alone.

“In order to strengthen our collective defence and at the same time support Ukraine in its existential fight, we need a whole of society approach.

“In order to be fully effective also in the future, we need a warfighting transformation of NATO.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said Britain’s enemies are “gathering around us” as he warned Russia, China, Iran and North Korea are growing increasingly dangerous.

He warned the World is entering a “pre-war phase”, adding “the era of the peace dividend is over”.

And Admiral Bauer told military chiefs they are entering an “era in which we need to expect the unexpected”.

He also predicted the Russian population will soon “crave” democratic rights after decades of being ruled by Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

The Dutch Admiral said the Ukrainian Armed Forces have become a “beacon of light” showing “the World what it means to fight for what you believe in”.

He added: “This war has never been about any real security threat to Russia coming from either Ukraine or NATO. This war is about Russia fearing something much more powerful than any physical weapon on earth: democracy.

“If people in Ukraine can have democratic rights, then people in Russia will soon crave them too. That is what this war is actually about. In 2024 a record-breaking 2 billion people on earth will cast their vote in a democratic election, and yet the concept of democracy needs to be defended more than ever.

“The Ukrainian people and the Ukrainian Armed Forces are doing this in a way we have never seen before. In the darkness of war, they are a beacon of light that shows the world what it means to fight for what you believe in.

“Today is the 693rd day of what Russia thought would be a 3-day war.
Ukraine will have our support for every day that is to come. Because the outcome of this war will determine the fate of the world.”

Ukraine has vowed to win the battle for the skies over the war-torn country.

Kyiv is this year expected to receive the first batch of F-16 fighter jets and Ukrainian military chiefs believe they could be critical to defeating Russian troops.

Moscow has intensified drone and cruise missile attacks across Ukraine, killing more than 100 people in December alone.

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