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Germany models scenario of possible attack on NATO

Thursday, 29 February 2024, 00:18
Germany models scenario of possible attack on NATO
Stock photo: Getty Images

The German government has delivered a "Civil Defence Risk Analysis" report to the Bundestag, outlining one of the likely scenarios of a possible conflict between an unnamed aggressor and NATO, based on lessons learned from Russia's full-scale war against Ukraine.

The report is available to European Pravda.

According to the report, Russia's war against Ukraine has confirmed that modern warfare combines classical and unconventional operations, the latter including cyberattacks, disinformation campaigns and sabotage.


"An aggressor attack – hybrid and/or using the full arsenal of modern armed forces in all dimensions (land, air/space, sea, cyber and information) on NATO territory – is therefore a likely scenario," the report says.

The report’s authors then outline one of the scenarios for such an attack, emphasising that it is only one of the possible scenarios and not specifying what the other scenarios envisage. This scenario divides the conflict into four phases.

  • Phase I lasts for several years with varying degrees of intensity and involves hybrid influence by the aggressor: espionage, cyberattacks, sabotage, and attacks on vital and defence facilities and critical infrastructure. A key feature of this phase is that the hybrid influence is conducted covertly and cannot be immediately linked to the aggressor.
  • Phase II lasts several months and involves the deployment of aggressor forces on NATO's eastern borders – and the deployment of NATO deterrence forces in response. The hybrid influence continues, but becomes more intense and less covert.
  • Phase III, which lasts for at least one year, involves open military aggression against NATO territory – selective attacks using conventional and non-conventional means, including against targets in Germany, as well as possible disruption of satellites in space.
  • Finally, during Phase IV, the aggressor's troops break through NATO defensive lines into Germany. A full-scale armed confrontation in space is also envisaged. The scenario assumes that this phase ends with "a ceasefire agreement no earlier than a few months later".

In the report, the German government proposes that this scenario should be used as the basis for building a civil defence concept, and that the relevant agencies can model further "sub-scenarios" for more effective defence.

It was previously reported that the Bundeswehr is drawing up a new comprehensive operational defence plan for the first time since the end of the Cold War, taking into account the lessons learned from Russia's full-scale aggression against Ukraine. The German defence plan is classified as "top secret", runs to hundreds of pages, and is expected to be completed by the end of March.

In recent weeks, a number of European NATO countries have been warning of the risk of Russian aggression in the near future. German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said in January that the Alliance should prepare for a Russian attack on a NATO country within 5-8 years.

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