Germany prepares a new defense plan based on lessons from Russia’s war in Ukraine

For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the Bundeswehr has been developing a new comprehensive operational defense plan for a year that takes into account the lessons of Russia’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine.

Lieutenant General Andre Bodemann, the territorial commander of the Bundeswehr, told about the details of the plan in an interview with DPA.

The German defense plan, classified as “top secret” and expected to be prepared by the end of March, spans hundreds of pages. Bodemann explains that the German defense plan primarily aims to deter potential aggression.

“This means that I do not expect a tank battle on the battlefield in northern Germany and, hopefully, no Russian landings. The lieutenant general explains that special services that have infiltrated the country and are trying to damage it certainly threaten our critical infrastructure, including ports, bridges, and energy companies, through sabotage.

Among the four main threats envisaged in the new German defense plan are fakes and disinformation aimed at changing government decisions, public opinion, and the media; cyberattacks; targeted recruitment; and sabotage.

Bodemann emphasized that the plan considers the possibility of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine and acknowledges that in the event of Russian aggression against NATO, a significant portion of German forces would redeploy to the eastern flank, potentially leaving Germany vulnerable to defense.

Finally, Germany envisages more active involvement of civilians and companies in defense, given the reduction in the size of the Bundeswehr over the past decades. For example, the army will sign contracts with civilian companies to provide services.

The Bundeswehr territorial commander summarized, “Our primary aim with this defense plan is to deterrence. We are doing something to prevent a conflict or war from happening at all.”

Earlier, German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius suggested that Russia could attack a NATO member in 5-8 years. Against this backdrop, a number of top European military officials have called for preparations for a possible full-scale conflict in Europe.

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