Belgium scolded for its insufficient efforts: “Not preparing for war means increasing the probability of war”

Belgium scolded for its insufficient efforts: “Not preparing for war means increasing the probability of war”
Belgium scolded for its insufficient efforts: “Not preparing for war means increasing the probability of war”

The problem is twofold, he warned: the country is not meeting the targets set in 2021 and, in 2025, new, even higher targets will be set.

“Not preparing for war means that we increase the probability of war,” the Dutch soldier told the House Defense Committee during a hearing. This visit to the federal parliament followed an interview with the Prime Minister, the Ministers of Defense and Foreign Affairs, as well as the Chief of Defense.

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This senior official of the Atlantic Alliance mainly mentioned the war in Ukraine.

“In Belgium as in other countries, people think that this Russian threat is very far from us. I would like to remind you that, if Russia wants to attack a NATO member, we will all be at war, Belgium included. It is not a theoretical thought that Russia could attack. The Russians have often lied: they said they were not going to attack Ukraine, they did. would not attack Georgia in 2008, they did. They said they would not annex Crimea, they did. They also told us in a draft treaty in 2001 that they wanted to return to the. borders of 1997 (before the enlargement of the Alliance)”, explained Mr Bauer.

The feared attacks would not only be of an electronic nature, as they are already happening today, but they could also take on an armed nature and target targets in Belgium: the port of Antwerp, the headquarters and headquarters of the NATO, European institutions or even companies like Swift which manages banking transactions for the whole world.

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The soldier welcomed the STAR plan put in place under this legislature to increase the capacity of the Belgian Defense. He recognized the efforts made in the naval and air sectors through the acquisition of drones and F-35s to replace the F-16s. But these measures are insufficient, according to him. “You have ordered 34 F-35s. This is not enough: NATO is asking for 45,” he warned. “The creation of a second (motorized) brigade is postponed until 2040.” And added: “these capacities are good news in themselves, but they last a long time and it is at this reduced point that it will be impossible to hold out for long if there is a crisis.”

The share of GDP devoted by Belgium to Defense has been debated for a long time. The kingdom ranks near the bottom of NATO. This share should reach 1.57% in 2030 and 2%, the objective set in 2014, only by 2035. The pressure is strong among the right-wing parties to accelerate the pace while the budgetary context is gloomy . The point will be one of the issues of the next government discussions.

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