Around Halloween, the horror experiences are as usual dense.

If it's not gassers and zombies, it's a witch or a vampire.

Or why not a security policy analysis from Germany with the title "Preventing the next war"?

A title that may well have given some security policy assessors cold feet in the autumn rush when it was published on October 31.

The report has sparked intense discussion in Europe and is also important for Sweden.

In some cases, even in the Swedish media, the analysis and reactions have even been interpreted as a forecast of the remaining time before Russia attacks.

Which - spoiler alert - is not the issue.

But it has made a big impression nonetheless.

Loud message

It begins with a description of a Russia with imperial ambitions, which is described as the biggest and most urgent threat to NATO countries.

The subtitle, "Germany and NATO are in a battle against the clock" sums up the spirit of the text.

More specifically, the report's authors concluded that Russia – after an end to intense fighting in Ukraine – may need as little as six to ten years to rebuild its armed forces.

Therefore, Germany and NATO within the time window of five to nine years are considered to have to ensure that they have the military ability to deter Russia.

And - if need be - fight.

"Only then will they be in a position to reduce the risk of another war breaking out in Europe," it says.

Of course, you don't have to see the report as God-given truth.

Some observers question assumptions about Russian capabilities, as well as Russia's intentions with, for example, nuclear weapons.

In any case, the message is that there is a rush.

Poland and Estonia: Three years

In interviews, heavy European voices have had to react to the report.

An example is in Poland where the head of the intelligence agency BBN in an interview with the newspaper Nasz Dziennik is asked to comment.

He says he believes it is too optimistic.

According to him, eastern NATO countries have perhaps three years to build a deterrent against Russia.

Similar tones came this week from the Estonian side, then from Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

In an interview with the British The Times, she also has to react to the Germans' forecast for a window of time to build muscles to exert a deterrent towards the East.

"Our intelligence service estimates it to be between three and five years, and it depends very much on how we manage our unity and maintain our position on Ukraine," says Kallas.

Swedish misunderstanding

What they both describe is thus an assessment of how long Europe has to prepare to deter Russian aggression, based on an assumption of how soon Russia can build up its capabilities after the war in Ukraine stops.

An important discussion in a Europe which, according to many assessors, has relied too much on the protection of the world police USA..

On the other hand, they are not assessments of how much time you have

before Russia actually attacks


Something that both the Polish and Estonian authorities clarify by email to SVT, where the Estonian response adds that the risk of Russian invasion is currently assessed as low, although in the long term increased.

If the forecast had been war in three years, it would have been significantly more frightening.

And a little strange that one would now be able to know for sure.