The Estonian Chief of Staff is giving himself 2 to 3 years to deter a Russian offensive.

Two to three years! This is the deadline given today by the Estonian Chief of Staff, like his Swedish counterpart, to modernize and prepare their armed forces, in order to face a Russian offensive against their respective countries.

This is in any case what emerges from an analysis published by the American site breaking-defense.com, and which shows the real excitement of the leaders of these armies, to anticipate what they perceive, together, as a threat to both very sensitive and potentially lethal for their country.

At the same time, the analysis shows that as we move away from Russia's borders, other NATO members, including the United States and the United Kingdom, are much less alarmist and worried, point to even question the reality of the Russian threat in the medium term, against a member country of the Atlantic Alliance.

How can we explain these differences in perception within NATO itself, an alliance which nevertheless shares a large amount of information, particularly regarding Russia? Above all, if we can determine it, which of these two perceptions appears more credible today?

The chiefs of staff of Estonia and Sweden estimate that the Russian threat on their border will be critical within 2 or 3 years.

For General Martin Herem, who was chief of staff of the Estonian armies until July 1, 2024, the risks that Russia launches an offensive against his country in the years to come can be modeled with a simplified mathematical expression, having as a parameter the moment of the end of the fighting in Ukraine, a simplification of the Russian capacity to produce the equipment and train the forces necessary to achieve this objective, the aggregation of internal and external factors applying to Russia, and Estonia's and NATO's readiness.

Chief of General Staff of Estonia General Martin Herem
Estonian Chief of Staff General Martin Herem

If the Estonian general's expression may seem obscure, even questionable in its formulation, these parameters match exactly those identified in an article published on Meta-defense in January 2024, entitled “ Can NATO be attacked by Russia in 2030"

However, in this expression, it appears that the only parameter to delay, or even make inaccessible, the deadline for a Russian attack, in the hands of Tallinn, rests on the state of preparation of the Estonian armies, and to a lesser extent , that of the NATO armies.

We understand, from this perspective, why Estonia, like its Baltic neighbors, who share the same reading, because the same destiny, has one of the highest defense efforts in NATO, with 3,2% of its GDP, but also why the country supports Ukraine so ardently, precisely to postpone in time the start of the countdown to the deadly reconstruction of the Russian armies.

In any case, given the parameters known to date, General Herem estimates that his country has, today, 2 or 3 years ahead of it, to prepare to absorb the Russian shock, an estimate that is also shared by the Swedish Chiefs of Staff, and which also seem close to those made by the other Baltic countries, and Poland.

Westerners much less pessimistic about the Russian threat to NATO

Conversely, several other Western analysts and chiefs of staff do not seem to have the same reading of the current dynamics in Eastern Europe. Thus, the German intelligence services had estimated, not long ago, that the window of high risks, with Russia, could begin within 4 to 5 years, this having moreover led, since then, to an obvious acceleration of the operational preparation effort of the Bundeswehr.

leopard 2 finland
The Finnish armies estimate that today, facing them in Russia, there are only three brigades reduced to the scale of a Company, therefore representing no immediate threat. However, they affirm that the situation can change very quickly and radically.

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2 Comments

  1. Hello,
    There is an error in the paragraph "Reasoned confidence in NATO's response to a Russian threat", you say that the Bundeswehr will deploy a brigade in Estonia to protect the Suwalki corridor, when it is in Lithuania

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