Top NATO Official: Western Civilians Must Be Prepared for War With Russia

    Top NATO Official: Western Civilians Must Be Prepared for War With Russia
    Photo: oracio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Admiral Rob Bauer, the chairman of NATO's military committee, on Thursday told reporters that civilians in Western countries need to prepare for the prospect of war with Russia within the next 20 years.

    • "We have to realise it's not a given that we are in peace," Bauer said. "And that's why we [NATO forces] are preparing for a conflict with Russia. But the discussion is much wider. It is also the industrial base and also the people that have to understand they play a role."


    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    This is clearly a preparedness conversation officials do not want to have. However, Western citizens really must be ready for the prospect that we could be in a major war with Russia at some point in the next 20 years. Officials are doing their best to avoid that situation, but citizens should nonetheless be ready for the possibility.

    Pro-Russia narrative

    Unwarranted comments such as these only escalate the tensions and provoke a game of nerves with Russian military officials — no less with a huge military exercise taking place near Russia's borders next week. If the West truly doesn't want a war, it should stop provoking it with its short-sighted policies and inflammatory rhetoric.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 99% chance that Sweden will join NATO before 2025, according to Metaculus community prediction.


    Establishment split

    CRITICAL

    PRO

    Sign up to our daily newsletter