Threat country ranking for Germany (top 5) (2022)


Germany is very safe these days. My normal check list

  1. Will we get blockaded?
  2. Will we get bombed?
  3. Will we get invaded?

is almost completely unrealistic. Germany is almost certainly not even part of the most feverish Russian Empire restoration dreams of anyone with power in Russia.

To still participate in alliances is similar to why countries such as Portugal or Luxembourg participate:

  • solidify a sense of European-North American commonality
  • contribute to Western cooperation
  • collective security as a means to maintain buffers and to keep friendly Eastern neighbours from being forced into an exploitation scheme similar to COMECON
  • laziness and path dependency

I suspect an additional intent to misuse/abuse alliances for military adventure gaming, but that's not the topic this time.

So the military threats to Germany directly are marginal. Still, there are scenarios how certain countries can inflict great harm on Germany, and I will attempt to rank them.

First, let's remember the concept of expectation value, which is probability of an event multiplied with its importance (probability of something bad happening times how bad it would be). I bring this up because I anticipate that people will disagree with my ranking on grounds of low probabilities, while I attempt to pay attention to expectation value of harm, so the severity of the harmful event is of equal importance as the probability.

So, this is the ranking, and no, without further explanation you will not understand me correctly on this:

  1. Russian Federation
  2. United States of America
  3. People's Republic of China
  4. India
  5. Israel 

Now to the explanations:

#1, Russian Federation (with its appendix Belarus)

This threat is fairly simple.

  • Russia can attack NATO/EU allies and thus force Germany into a direct war,
  • it can cause economic damage (it actually already does so with de facto cyber war and economic war, albeit of course we do also kind of wage economic warfare on them via the EU trade restrictions),
  • it might affect Germany indirectly with radioactive fallout (I suppose a direct attack is too unrealistic to warrant attention),
  • it's known to exploit far right wing and other idiots (including the far left) inside Germany to undermine our democracy and promote internal distrust, paralysis and unrest.
  • It's the official threat, geographically close, there's a history of (always unnecessary) conflict with Russia and even politicians in power talk occasionally about how one has to be careful to avoid a shooting war with them.

#2, United States of America

This does beg the question why the U.S. would possibly harm us intentionally. The simple answer is it already turned 80% Fascist recently, just barely withdrew from that and I think there's a 30% probability that it will complete the move towards a Fascist dictatorship / 'controlled democracy' within the next ten years (maybe five). Moreover, the United States have already shown (and not just by Fascist politicians) a willingness to wage economic war against Germany by its attempt to blackmail us into a specific policy change (giving up North Stream 2). Regardless of how sensible that move would have been; it was up to us and the extreme efforts and economic warfare waged were extremely disrespectful of German sovereignty, which the Americans were used to ignore because it did not really exist until 1990. The U.S. also has a history of bullying and economic warfare, so this is totally in their tool set.*

There are multiple ways how they could inflict harm on Germany. The two most extreme ones are

  • They can basically switch off the German economy and government by backdoors in Microsoft software alone. Nothing more is needed really. In case you wonder how I can be sure about the existence of backdoors: Every autoupdater function in software is a backdoor technically, period. They have many options for less extreme forms of economic warfare.
  • A fully Fascist U.S. might side with Russia as its wannabe dictator already did in the past. In the most extreme scenario continental Europe might face a barrage of thousands of cruise missiles and air attacks from carrier battle groups (this is rather a scenario for the 2030's, as it would require much propaganda preparation for such a move).
  • Additionally, their idiotic economic policies habitually create business cycles of boom-bust that do by the very large size of their economy and through trade and financial system connections cause economic disruptions and even recessions in Germany as well.** This is not a security policy threat, of course.

#3, People's Republic of China

An intense conflict with the PRC could be launched both as a side effect of a Pacific War between the PRC and U.S. and as an effort to enforce Chinese intents of influence sphere expansion and economic expansion.

  • They could cease export of rare earths and other key goods as a means of economic warfare,
  • they could affect Germany indirectly by radioactive fallout,
  • they could drag Germany into a Pacific War by bombing North American soil,
  • they could wage economic warfare through 'cyber warfare', using backdoors and known/intentional non-patchable vulnerabilities of Chinese-made internet-connected electronics. The issue of the security of Huawei internet infrastructure electronics was raised in the past years.

#4, India

I do not suppose that India is a direct threat, albeit things can change. India's current cuddling with Putin's Russia sure is not encouraging to us.

The Hindu-nationalist government is on a confrontation and escalation course with domestic Muslims and Pakistan. This may lead to a thermonuclear war on their subcontinent. The probability is very low, but existing and the damage even to Germany could be extreme. This hypothetical conflict is the primary scenario for theoretical studies of nuclear winter nowadays.

I consider mostly the possibility of radioactive fallout (much more radiation than in the other mentioned scenarios) and nuclear winter-induced famine risk to be a possible harm to Germany, but even a limited thermonuclear war on the Indian subcontinent would certainly have severe consequences for Germany.

An India that closely aligns with Russia could add to the threat that Russia poses (see #1).

#5, Israel

So basically there's an apartheid government that waged a war of aggression and conquest and is despite numerous efforts of the United Nations still keeping territories illegally occupied and is colonising them. This government is armed to the teeth including a sizeable air force and has nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles that can easily reach Europe. Many of their people have a kind of aversion against Germany and ethnic Germans in particular and can easily be motivated to scapegoat us. It's astonishing that this is not widely considered to be a threat country, it seems an inescapable conclusion to me, albeit maybe one for chats behind closed doors.*



*: I think it's incorrect to scratch a country from a threat list only because relations are fine and peaceful NOW.

**: Post-WW2 Germany does not create severe recessions on its own, but it's importing them through trade. 



  1. 2.8 million out of 9.1 million people in Israel are Ashkenazi or have partial Ashkenazi heritage, which is the group, where negative attitudes about Germans are harboured. Let's not overstate the Israel threat.

  2. Russia, India and China combined are also a potential threat far greater than each component.

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  4. Sven, you are far too optimistic about the US political system. Personally I rate the odds of a fascist US at about 60% in the next 4 years. The only positive at the moment is that the fascists in the Republican party have got the worst case of Victory Disease since the Japanese in 1942.

    There is about another 10% chance that the country will simply fall apart from lack of trust in others. The Florida and Texas independence movements are the ridiculous visible tip of a serious problem. It is likely that the winner of the 2024 Presidential election (which will NOT be Biden) will be viewed as the "strongest" leader.

    Net case: There is about a 70% chance the 2028 US Presidential elections will not be held.

    1. "There is about another 10% chance that the country will simply fall apart from lack of trust in others".

      Now it's you who are too optimistic. My assessment is that the chance for a break-up of the United States within this decade is a minimum 10%, more likely as high as 1 in 3 or even 40%. Even with non-total breakdown, we will see major sections of the country simply IGNORE laws and directions from the national level. When Texas and California go their own ways, we can call this a soft disintegration of the United States. If the U.S. Military is called in to enforce Federal law, then it's either civil war or hard authoritarianism.

  5. Germans vs jews? Wow, its canon.

  6. I don't think Israel is much of a threat. While yes they do have a powerful military, they are pretty much entirely specialized in suppressing Palestine & scaring off arab nations from trying to invade. With the small size of their country this means they're force projection capabilities are non-existent, because they simply don't need them. Meaning they couldn't really reach Germany. As well they're a conscript army that already has significant opposition to conscription. & while Palestine is very much suppressed Israel's population still has significant political freedom & can vote, & an offensive war on a conscript army is not uhhh ideal.

    1. I was mostly thinking of what might happpen if Israel for once would not have a veto power support it in the UNSC and face severe sanctions to force it out of West Bank and Golan heights, the way Iraq was under pressure while it occupied Kuwait.
      In that scenario it would very easily be possible to blockade air and sea transport in addition to land connections. Israel might threaten to use its nukes when cornered like that.

  7. If america goes fascist, poland becomes a considerable potential threat. It already has a dubiously democratic government that hates germany with a burning passion and believes they are owed some 2 trillions in reparations. I've also seen voices pointing out that eastern germany was slavic some 11 centuries ago - which should be irrelevant, but do not forget they also call the territories gained in WW2 "reclaimed" despite having been german for several centuries as well. An alliance directed against germany would be a real possibility.

    1. >An alliance directed against germany would be a real possibility.

      Germany doesnt have any chance in this variant. Its like Poland in 1939, Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact.

    2. Not so. America is far, carrier groups can be destroyed with ballistic missiles (possibly nuclear tipped), poland cannot raise forces superior to the german ones if we're just a little smart about it. Problem is, germany is currently very definitely not being smart and might not see the danger sufficiently in advance.

    3. To be able to target CVBGs hundreds of nm away from the coast takes a lot of peacetime preparations. We Europeans lack the official CVBG threat to prepare for anti-CVBG work in any targeted way. The French OTH radar, Rafales with midair refuelling, maybe some Typhoons with midair refuelling as well, for a while still some Tornado IDS/ECR, a few military and science satellites would be the main assets. The European stocks in air-launched AShMs are tiny for all I know.

      BTW, I think the British with their confusion about whether England belongs to America or to Europe are the primary candidate for siding with a America against Europe in a Fascist U.S. scenario IMO.

    4. That is why buying the F-35 (or any US equipment) is fucking stupid for Germany. It also means the German Airforce needs to desperately start training using (domestically produced) AShMs aswell as airdropping (domestically produced) torpedoes and seamines and Germany should start developing its own land based ballistic AShMs.
      Also the sale of all electronics and software from US/UK manufacturers should be banned in Germany and replaced by domestic suppliers.
      I consider the eternal Anglo (including all „Five-Eyes“ countries) to be a far bigger threat than Russia in the long term.
      Off course the army shouldn’t be neglected though because as, as already said, with Poland the Anglosphere also has a loyal vassal that could threaten Germany on the land.
      Here Russia might actually turn out to be a valuable ally.

    5. This opinion on the F-35 was already behind this https://defense-and-freedom.blogspot.com/2018/03/luftwaffe-f-35-or-typhoon-for-airground.html blog post, albeit I didn't mention it back then, preferring to get another point across.

      I'll later write about 'digital sovereignty'.

    6. "I consider the eternal Anglo (including all „Five-Eyes“ countries) to be a far bigger threat than Russia in the long term".

      Probably and sadly, correct. Still correct in regards to China etc.

      Consider the following (IMHO) facts.

      What the Five Eyes desire from non-Anglo Europe is active participation, in all senses (economic, technological, MILITARY AND NAVAL) in a Pacific War. An area of the world from which Europe is not threatened in the least.

      What China would like from Europe is much more rational and much easier in case of a war in the Asia-Pacific. NEUTRALITY. Just stay out of an area that does not concern Europe. Simple.

      So the U.S. wants to drag Europe into a HUGE war in Asia, whereas China wants Europe to stay out of a war.

      Who is the war-monger here?

  8. Russia waging a series of wars for an empire with the backing of China and India is an impeding threat. Thank you for taking China and India into consideration of the German security environment.

    I talked with Americans and people with strong connections to the US. They do see a problem with Republican attitudes, but they can't imagine a turn of the US into a fascist country. That might be a blind spot or the US is far more resilient, than we Germans imagine. In case the US does turn fascist, Germany is fucked, because the UK and Visegrad are likely to support them, Poland thinks we owe them trillions of €, and France twice narrowly escaped a Le Pen presidency. Le Pen received financial support from Russia, the weird case of Franco A. in the Bundeswehr has links to her financial backers and Russia. Franco A. in turn links to the Hannibal network and the AfD. We might for this reason not only have outside enemies, but a fifth column within that dreams of day X, when they end democracy. Our intelligence services might have handled these cases far better than we know from public records, but I wouldn't bet on that. It would be interesting if you could look into that, because this is where all these threats combine.

  9. No Poland with even more crazies in power of even France (that would destroy and implode the EU) under a nationalist government ? Much more probable that the scenarii with India or China, IMHO.
    Poland without allies (maybe the UK and even the US) can't really be a letal threat althought maybe Berlin could be in danger at the start of any incident.
    France is not that possible, even with nationalists but if they feel cornered by some desesperate EU (backed by Germany) actions to meddle in their internal affairs they could go rogue.
    And congrats to have to balls to put the USA with the possibilities of crazy ultra religious-police state and jingoistic factions taking the power...few in Europe really get that we are near that, possibly fof course.

    1. I'm German. Al ballsiness was focused on putting #5 on the list.

    2. "I'm German. Al ballsiness was focused on putting #5 on the list."

      It's not so far-fetched. More Germans should discuss this in an open, honest fashion. In fact, more Europeans should as well. And it is time that the screaming be ignored. To talk honestly and logically - that's the democratic way.

  10. SO:"A fully Fascist U.S. might side with Russia as its wannabe dictator already did in the past. In the most extreme scenario continental Europe might face a barrage of thousands of cruise missiles and air attacks from carrier battle groups (this is rather a scenario for the 2030's, as it would require much propaganda preparation for such a move)."
    1) Time to buy stock in tin foil manufacturers; the proletariat have embraced the hats en mass!
    2) You realize that ICBMs would be the preferred choice, and that carriers are not needed for strike warfare.
    3) In general, putting the two most populous democracies on your 'threat list' is sad.

    1. The US has a history of disrespecting the sovereignty of other countries all over the world and imperialistically invading them since at least the mid 19. Century.
      That they are on the list shouldn’t surprise anyone but the most hypocritical „Gods own Country“-US-nationalists.

    2. In both, India and the US, the system we currently associate with a working democracy is under threat.
      In the US gerrymandering is a verifiable tactic by a minority to hold power and there was an attempted putsch based on a lie to delegitimize an elected government.
      In India, a majority government doesn't respect minority rights and has a violent paramilitary arm that attacks all kinds of opposition.
      We do live in an age where democracy is in retreat and a number of democracies next door to Germany transformed into authoritarian rule that doesn't respect voting rights.

  11. Considering recent events Pooland should definitely by among the top three of the list.
    A basically fascist state, spending the money they get, mainly from Germany, through EU-funds to arm them self to the teeth.
    Recently announcing the increase of military spending to 3% of GDP and the increase of military personnel to 250.000 (+militia) as well as the purchase of 250 Abrams and 500 HIMAR from the US, 1000 K2, 672 K9 and 48 FA-50 from South Korea etc.
    Now they suddenly come up with the long settled issue of „reparations“ again (as if 100.000+ square kilometers of German territory weren’t enough already).
    In one or two decades they will probably use their demands as justification to occupy Lausatia and Western Pommerania as „compensation“ and to „liberate“ their „suppressed Slavic brothers“ and the starved and mismanaged Bundeswehr will be hardly able to resist.
    Maybe they would even go as far as to reclaim the lost „poolish“ lands up to the river Elbe which they already considered to be (and tried to establish as) the „natural“ border of Pooland since as far back as (at least) 1919.
    The Bundeswehr should definitely start planning more for a war in the east, but Russia is far from the only threat luring there.

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