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NATO ready for potential conflict with Russia, top admiral says

NATO ready for potential conflict with Russia, top admiral says NATO Military Committee Chair Rob Bauer (Getty Images)

NATO states are prepared for a potential military conflict with Russia, says NATO Military Committee Chair Rob Bauer in an interview with ArmyInform.

Bauer says that NATO understood the change in the security situation as early as 2014, after the Russian occupation of Crimea.

Since 2019, NATO states have begun to return to collective security: they have changed their defense strategy, operational planning, and forces needed to carry out all these tasks.

"Now we all understand that in returning to collective security, time is not on our side. Because the enemy decides when and where they attack you, and how long the conflict will last. Unfortunately, Ukraine has experienced this," said the NATO admiral.

When asked if the Alliance is ready for a conflict with Russia, he answered, "Yes."

"Our main task is to be ready. If it happens today, then you have to fight with what you have. It's always a combination of readiness for today and at the same time improving capabilities for the future," Bauer added.

Speaking of readiness on NATO's eastern flank, where potential threats are highest, he recalled how the Alliance expanded its presence in the Baltics since 2016 and, with the onset of full-scale war, in Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria.

"Now we have eight such battlegroups, which can be combined into a brigade if necessary. The respective countries constantly practice this mechanism. If more is needed, then we will consider it. But for now, this is enough," said the NATO admiral.

He adds that modern warfare also has other dimensions, such as cybersecurity or attacks in space, while Russia has ways to exert influence in the Arctic, the western Atlantic, Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea.

"It would be unwise to focus solely on the eastern flank because the Russians are not only there. They are everywhere. That's why NATO constantly monitors their actions and reacts accordingly when necessary," Bauer noted.

NATO preparing for escalation

Earlier, the German Bild published a scenario of military exercises in Germany, during which the armed forces are preparing for a hybrid attack by Russia on NATO's eastern flank.

Bauer also stated that the alliance needed transformation, and the West must prepare for an era where anything can happen at any time, including the start of war.

French President Emmanuel Macron also warned of the risk of a Russian attack in the coming years, stating that European leaders need to be prepared for such a scenario.

Polish President Andrzej Duda also stated that Russia could soon restore its military potential and attack NATO countries as early as 2026.