Europe’s military leaders have been aware for some time that high-intensity military conflicts and even major wars are a real possibility for the continent. Europe’s gradual rearmament, accelerated by the war in Ukraine, bears witness to that. It would be unfair to say European leaders are unrealistic about the threats they face. But they have made the mistake of believing that a material response to those threats will suffice.
Armaments are only one aspect of Europe’s problem. NATO already has at its disposal military means that are vastly superior to Russia. But that did not stop Russian President Vladimir Putin from carrying out his aggressive plan against Ukraine, which Europe has clearly declared an important interest in.