Europe’s in a race against time to arm itself.

Senior officials know they shouldn’t be counting on the U.S. for Europe’s defense, but building up their own military capabilities requires a determination they’ve yet to prove. The continent’s efforts leave it at least a decade away from being able to defend itself unaided, according to officials familiar with these preparations.

Amid fears that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine may represent just the first phase of much broader imperial ambitions, western intelligence assessments are suggesting that the Kremlin could be in a position to target a NATO member within the much shorter span of three to five years.