Europe is likely to face another major war after Ukraine before this decade is out, Germany's defence minister, Boris Pistorius, has said. (Photo by Christian Ender/Getty Images)


German defence minister urges EU to strengthen military power as US attention shifts


Europe is likely to suffer another major war aside from Ukraine in the near future, according to Germany’s defence minister Boris Pistorius.

Speaking to Welt am Sonntag on December 16, the Social Democratic party (SPD) politician claimed the US was losing interest in European affairs and that security tensions in the Pacific would likely leave the European Union having to fend for itself.

As a result, Pistorius argued that the bloc now needs to ramp-up weapons production, warning that Russia poses a particular threat.

“Putin is currently increasing Russia’s arms production significantly,” he said.

“At the same time, his threats against the Baltic States, Georgia and Moldova must be taken very seriously. This isn’t just sabre-rattling. Dangers could lie ahead at the end of this decade.”

“By then we will be prepared for it,” he insisted.

Pistorius is not the only security official concerned about the possibility of future European wars in the next decade.

Professor Katarzyna Pisarska, the co-creator of the Warsaw Security Forum, an annual gathering of around 90 senior representatives, echoed the German politician’s concerns about future wars with Russia.

She said the EU must be able to defend itself without the US, especially if the Republican Party polls well in the coming 2024 elections.

“It will not be easy to replace the United States in many military matters, but it is possible,” Pisarska said.

“The Russians just don’t believe that the Germans or French can fill the Americans’ shoes.

“Can France station 10,000 soldiers in Poland tomorrow?” she asked. “Can Germany effectively defend NATO’s eastern flank?

“Credible deterrence is needed.”

Piarska also noted that increased immigration into the US from Africa and Asia had resulted in a shift in priorities for American politicians, with many in the country now more concerned about China and Palestine than Portugal and Poland.

“The USA is changing, demographically. There has been hardly any immigration from Europe for many decades but from Asia and of course Latin America,” she warned.

“For many younger Americans, including a generation of politicians, Europe is little more than an open-air museum.”

Pistorius agreed a new European framework that did not rely on the US was now needed.

He acknowledged that some security elements it currently provides were those the EU “could not easily compensate for immediately”.

“One can assume that the USA will be more involved in the Pacific region in the next decade than it is today – regardless of who becomes the next president,” he said.

“This means that we Europeans must increase our commitment to ensure security on our continent.”