Dutch army chief urges to prepare for war with Russia
Dutch Army Commander-in-Chief Martin Wijnen, who is retiring on January 1, 2024, says that the country and society must prepare for war with Russia
He said this in an interview with De Telegraaf, according to NL Times.
"Our society should be preparing themselves for this (war with Russia - ed.)," he said.
According to him, The Hague should follow the example of Sweden, Finland and the Baltic states, as they border on Russia or are located close to it, so they are better prepared for the outbreak of war.
"The Netherlands needs to learn that the entire society needs to be prepared for when things go wrong. The Netherlands should not think our safety is guaranteed because we are 1,500 kilometers away," Wijnen said, adding that civilians should have food and drinking water in case of emergency.
The top general warned that Russia continues to grow stronger, so a strong army is needed as a deterrent.
"There is only one language that Russia understands, and that is one of a strong military," he said, emphasizing the importance of the country addressing the shortage of personnel in the military.
Wijnen indicated that he expects a lot from the one-year voluntary service initiative for young people, which was introduced after a similar program in Sweden. The top general hopes to attract 2,000 to 3,000 young people annually, a third of whom are likely to choose a career in the army, and a third will become reservists.
On December 21, the Dutch Ministry of Defense announced that it is buying ships, surveillance cameras, and radars to protect against potential spies and saboteurs in the North Sea.