As if being on a 24-hour, 7-days-a week terrorist watch wasn’t wearisome enough, it now looks as if several nations in Europe are actively preparing for war. For some, any whisper of war has the potential to morph into something far more catastrophic, like World War 3. Of course, given the escalating tensions between the Russian Federation and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), not to mention the seemingly constant military exercises by Russia, there seems ample reason for countries such as Germany and Lithuania to make preparations. But some of the prepping does not appear to be especially overt, such as Germany’s recent consideration of re-instituting conscription in order to bolster its civil defense force and the exhorting of its population to be better prepared in case of disasters. Still, Germany is not alone in its sudden interest in disaster readiness, suggesting to some that certain nations are inching their way toward World War 3.
BBC News reported August 23 that Germany, using the possibility of future terrorist attacks like the recent spate of deadly attacks in Germany, Belgium, and France as cause for concern, is now mulling over the idea of reintroducing conscription for a ready civil defense force. Conscripts would provide support for the military in case of a national disaster, officials assert, and would have caches of food, gasoline, and even available shelter for military personnel should it become necessary.
According to German news agency DPA, conscription ended in 2011 but was never removed from Germany’s constitution, so reinstating the draft system would be a simple legislative matter. While the Cold War was going on, Germany’s conscripts had to join the military for at least 18 months. This provided the nation with the ability to quickly mobilize 495,000 soldiers if necessary. This could supplement the standing military’s numbers to about 1.2 million troops.
The debate over conscription leaked to the press just days after the government urged civilians to begin stockpiling food, water, and other necessities to be generally prepared for privations during a time of national disaster.
While there were calls of fearmongering leveled at the German government, such seemingly innocuous government maneuverings, however, had others taking notice that preparedness could mean war-readiness. To illustrate, the Daily Star pointed out the war games being played in eastern Europe and how recent headlines, such as at Inquisitr, warned that Russia had the military capability to attack and take over the Baltic States “overnight” and with “no warning,” perhaps even using its military exercises as cover. A report from the Atlantic Council warned that NATO and the West should not underestimate Russia’s willingness to place NATO at a military and diplomatic disadvantage, to go to the brink of World War 3, much like it did when it invaded and annexed Crimea in 2014 against the protestations of most of the world.
There are several countries moving toward conscription at present, the Daily Star revealed, fueling fears that World War 3 might be closer than most realize. Sweden is considering a draft for its army. In a separate report, Daily Star recounted United Kingdom officials maintaining that war with Russia would see a quick mobilization of British troops.
Websites like MirrorSpectrum, which tend to be more conspiratorial in nature, have found a connection in Germany’s calls for civilian preparedness and that of the calls by President Barack Obama in May for Americans to do the same (his remarks, per the White House website, came in the aftermath of severe storms and tornadoes, not to mention flooding, in Arkansas). Of course, as is well known, the United States is the principal member and military power in NATO, so preparing for World War 3 for one member is likely to be echoed by other members. The MirrorSpectrum alludes that there is a “disturbing” trend worldwide of nations talking preparedness, including a booklet produced by the United Kingdom entitled Preparing For Emergencies that advises civilians on prepping for disasters.
In a related development, Lithuania ordered 88 armored troop carriers from Germany to bolster its somewhat meager defenses, UPI reported. As one of the Baltic States, it is one of the vulnerable potential targets of the Russian Army, according to experts. The aforementioned Atlantic Council report noted that the Baltic States were ill-prepared to meet a full-on onslaught by the Russian Army, predicting that Russian forces could take over their former Soviet neighbors (Lithuania was part of the Warsaw Pact countries, effective vassal states to Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, during the Cold War) in a matter of hours or days. In hopes of being better prepared for Russian aggression, Lithuania reinstated conscription for its army in September, according to The Guardian.
In recent weeks, the Russian military has, as reported by Inquisitr, moved armaments into Crimea, increased its troop strength on the tense Ukraine border to 40,000, increased its airpower in the region, and created a new Task Force for the area. As often happens, when an antagonistic military power makes some type of maneuver, its counterpart is soon to follow with a matching move. But in this case, does it mean World War 3? Or is it all just more saber-rattling and posturing, the stirring up of invasion and war fears in a Cold War 2.0? Time, as they say, will tell. In the meantime, disaster preparedness in and of itself, whether or not it is done for wars or floods or power outages, is a proactive approach to the inevitability of emergency situations, regardless of if you are in Arkansas or Germany.
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