Norwegian Army Chief Odin Johannessen warns that European countries must be reading and willing to fight against radical Islam in order to preserve the values that unite the continent. “I think we must be ready to fight, both with words, actions – and if necessary weapons – to preserve the country and the values we have in common,” Johannessen said in a speech to the Oslo Military Society on Monday. Citing the Islamist attacks in Paris, Johannessen said that, “Europe can no longer expect to live in peace and security, without having to defend its interests and values.”
The military chief went on to insist that well trained and adequately equipped soldiers would be crucial. “You can not win wars without having people on the ground,” he asserted. Johannessen’s remarks mirror similar sentiments expressed by other military officials in Europe. In an internal document uncovered last week, the chief of the Swedish army General Anders Brännström ordered his troops to prepare for a war in Europe against skilled opponents “within a few years”. “The global environment we are experiencing which is also demonstrated by strategic decisions [taken by politicians] leads us to the conclusion we could be at war within a few years,” wrote Brännström.