Estonia and other nations which make up NATO's Eastern Flank, along with the alliance as a whole, have a three-year window in which to avoid war with Russia, according to the head of Poland's National Security Bureau (BBN). Other expert estimates from European NATO member states put the time-frame at between five years and a decade.
Jacek Siewiera, a minister in the Office of the President of Poland and head of the BBN, asked to comment on a report by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) saying that NATO has between five and 10 years adequately to prepare for a Russian attack, said: "Unfortunately, yes."
Siewiera even called the German time-frame "optimistic, quoting studies in the U.S. as a basis for his claim.
"This analysis is consistent with the studies prepared in the U.S. However, in my opinion, the time frames presented by German analysts are too optimistic. If we want to avoid war, then NATO countries on the eastern flank should adopt a shorter, three-year timeline to prepare for confrontation. This is the time when a potential must be created on the eastern flank that will be a clear deterrent to aggression," Siewiera went on, quoted by English-language weekly the Warsaw Business Journal, in an article from Saturday.
Siwiera is reportedly also a army officer, medical doctor, lawyer and expert in anaesthesiology and intensive therapy, and in 2017 oversaw the world's first publicized case of successful recovery from high-altitude decompression sickness, an act he was awarded with the Cross of Merit for Bravery by the President of the Republic of Poland, Andrzej Duda.
Siwiera was also awarded with the Illinois Military Medal of Merit, a result of actions aimed to combat the Covid pandemic during its peak infection rate in the US.
German think-tank: 'Attack, including on Baltic states, could begin once Russia confident of success'
In a research piece posted on November 8, the DGAP, an independent German foreign policy research institute, put the window within which NATO, including Germany, must get their armed forces on to a footing.
This would include putting in place capabilities in-line with a scenario of a Russian attack, at between five and 10 years from the point in time at which intensive fighting has ended in Ukraine.
In other words this would be the time-scale Russia would require to reconstitute its armed forces sufficiently for an attack westwards, the DGAP reports.
The direction of this attack could include the Baltic States, the DGAP adds.
"The window for a possible Russian attack will open as soon as Russia believes that an attack, for instance on the Baltic states, could meet with success."
This preparedness would also be the only way in which NATO allies could curb the risk of another war breaking out in Europe, the DGAP says.
With its imperial ambitions, Russia represents the greatest and most pressing threat to NATO countries, while the alliance can only reliably influence their own ability to deter and defend and not Russia's actual decision on whether it wants to wage another war, the document goes on.
NATO's strategy paths range from "Better safe than sorry" to "Fighting with the army you have." each with their own political and economic "payoffs," as well as their on risk scenarios.
Additional geostrategic options can buy NATO time, the DGAP writes.
On Germany alone, the DGAP says it must "deliver a quantum leap."
This "quantum leap" would not only concern material affairs such as boosting military personnel numbers and expanding arms equipment, but also would require "a change of mentality in society."
Volodymyr Zelenskyy: Russia could attack from 2028 if Ukraine war frozen
Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in October issued an estimate closer to that of Ukraine's neighbor, Poland.
The Ukrainian World Congress, an NGO representing Ukrainian diaspora public organizations, reported in October that Zelenskyy had said future invasions of other states may occur in 2028, if the war in Ukraine becomes a frozen conflict.
"Now, Russia is considering various scenarios for the coming years. One of them is particularly dangerous. If there is any pause in this aggression against Ukraine, any freezing of the situation, then there will be a new critical moment – the year 2028," Zelenskyy said, citing Ukrainian intelligence data.
"If Russia is allowed to adapt now, then in 2028, the Kremlin will be able to restore the military potential we have destroyed, and Russia will have enough power to attack the countries that are the focus of Russian expansion."
These are, in addition to Ukraine, "precisely the Baltic countries and precisely those countries on the territory of which Russian contingents are present," Zelenskyy went on, presumably referring to the Russian minority populations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Czeh head of state: All depends on outcome of Ukraine war
Czech President Petr Pavel was more in the German camp, in late November putting the time-scale at at least five to seven years to fully restore its combat capabilities, European Pravda reports, quoting České Noviny.
Much hinges on what happens in Ukraine, he added, speaking at a Visegrad heads of state summit.
"On the other hand, there are many variables in the calculations which change the situation. It will really depend on the outcome of the war in Ukraine," Pavel said,
EuroPravda maintains the www.eurointegration.com.ua site, created in 2014 by a group of journalists led by Sergiy Sydorenko and Yurii Panchenko, focuses on Ukraine's European future.
Editor: Andrew Whyte