The national draft emergency defense plan reportedly sees ordinary citizens
Germans will be expected to turn their homes into bomb shelters in case a major war breaks out in Europe, newspaper Bild reported on Saturday, citing a draft document from the country’s Defense Ministry.
According to the report, the ministry is set to complete the work on the classified ‘Operational Plan’ (OPLAN) by April. The draft envisions Germany as a “transit country” crucial for the delivery of weapons and equipment rather than a state with an active frontline. For that reason soldiers would be tasked with securing key highways, railway stations and ports, Bild said.
At the same time, the state would have to rely on civilians to step in and cover some duties typically assigned to the military and police, including the protection of power plants.
There are only 579 functional bomb shelters in Germany, so the plan reportedly sees citizens setting up their own shelters in places such as basements and garages. Bild quoted the head of the Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance, Ralph Tiesler, as saying that building new shelters is “no longer feasible” due to time constraints.
Germany has been looking for ways to boost its army, citing the threats stemming from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The government set the goal of increasing the size of the Bundeswehr from 183,000 soldiers to 203,000 by 2031.
Defense Minister Boris Pistorius stated this month that Russia could attack a NATO country “within five to eight years.” He later somewhat adjusted his assessment, telling Bild on Friday, “At the moment, I don’t see any danger of a Russian attack on NATO territory or on any NATO partner-country.”
Russia has repeatedly accused NATO of fearmongering and stoking tensions in Europe. The head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, recently dismissed the claims that Moscow is planning an attack on NATO as “informational warfare.”
January 28, 2024 at 05:53AM