Danger Putin: Europe must finally arm itself with all means possible

Europe can no longer rely on the USA and must take care of its own security. Are we prepared for this?

The power is gone, the internet too, the television is dead and the phone is silent. Germany stands still. Crippled by a Russian cyberattack. And that’s far from the end. At least not in the political thriller “Abaddon”, in which the ex-stern editors Hans-Ulrich Jörges and Axel Vorm Bäumen create a frightening scenario: Donald Trump becomes US President again and allies himself with Vladimir Putin, to whom he leaves Europe defenseless. Soon afterwards, Poland and Germany were controlled from Moscow. A few hundred pages later everything falls into rubble and ashes.

Sounds crazy. But not quite as unthinkable as it was a few weeks ago. During the election campaign, Trump now talks like a protection racket about American support for NATO partners in Europe under attack. It looks like we are finally waking up from a 30-year dream that we indulged in after the end of the Cold War. The dream of a better world in which we can live safely, where borders are not moved by force and humanity cooperates for mutual benefit.

Of course, things were never quite this cozy on planet Earth. But when the powerful and knowledgeable gathered at the security conference in Munich at the weekend, the mood was unusually depressed, and not just because of the death of Alexei Navalny. The confidence of previous years was gone, the worry was omnipresent. Because in a world that has become uncertain, a few unencouraging assumptions seem fairly certain.

“Steadfast Defender”: NATO wants to demonstrate its operational readiness with the largest maneuver since the end of the Cold War. These British units from Oakham are there

© 2024 Getty Images

For example, the protection provided by American nuclear weapons will be less reliable in the future. That if Russia is successful in Ukraine, it could become a very real threat to other countries in Europe within a few years. That the costs of our security will rise dramatically. And then there were a number of open questions: How do we Europeans organize our nuclear deterrent? How do we conventionally prepare ourselves against the new dangers?