Austria's Ministry of Defense Warns of Global Risks

PeopleOther ♦ Published: January 29, 2024; 16:48 ♦ (Vindobona)

In a time of global uncertainty, the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defense has presented the "Risikobild 2024 - World out of joint". The presentation at the Raiffeisen Forum, led by Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner, aimed to shed light on the security policy challenges at the national and international level for the coming twelve to 18 months.

Middle East expert Günther Barnet, Africa expert Antonia Witt, Russia expert Gerhard Mangott, Western Balkans expert Marie-Janine Calic, and ÖBH military strategist General Major Bruno Hofbauer (f.l.t.r.). / Picture: © Bundesheer/CARINA KARLOVITS

Minister Tanner emphasized the need to think comprehensively about security policy and stressed that the Austrian Armed Forces and the Ministry of Defence make a significant contribution to the security of Austrian democracy. "The Risk Image 2024 is a decisive step towards broadening the security policy discourse in Austria," said Tanner.

According to Major General Peter Vorhofer, Head of the Directorate of Defense Policy and International Relations, the Austrian Armed Forces see an increased risk of confrontation between the EU and Russia. The resulting "new era of military disorder" is likely to shape the world and Austria for the next two decades.

Eight specific risks for Austria were named at the event, including disruptions to supply chains, migration flows, cyber attacks, and disinformation campaigns. The expert discussion focused on key challenges in critical regions such as Eastern Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Western Balkans.

Tanner spoke out in favor of rearmament and European cooperation and emphasized the importance of projects such as the "Sky Shield" air defense project. "In view of the images of war from Ukraine with ballistic missiles and drones, there must be no gap over Austria," she explained.

The Minister praised the multi-billion euro armament package for the Austrian Armed Forces and underlined the importance of "spiritual national defense". She expressed concern that the appreciation of democracy, especially among the younger generation, is declining. Tanner referred to the integration of the concept of comprehensive national defense into the curricula as part of the solution.

The "Risikobild 2024" is published annually to provide information on the general security situation and raise awareness of risks. Many foreign guests and representatives of the diplomatic offices in Vienna were also invited. The military attachés of France, the Netherlands, Romania, and Switzerland also attended the event. The presentation and subsequent discussion provided a platform for addressing Austria's security policy challenges and developing strategies for a secure future.

Austrian MoD