Britain’s defense chief says British forces must fight to stop war from spreading

Britain’s armed forces must be prepared to “fight and win” to stop the spread of war in Europe, the new army chief is warning. In a speech on Tuesday, the chief of the General Staff, General Sir Patrick Sanders, will say he had never seen such a clear threat to peace and democracy as the “brutal aggression” of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He would liken the current situation to World War II, saying that Britain must be prepared to “act swiftly” to ensure that it will end a full-scale conflict through its failure to contain Russian expansionism. not be drawn in. His latest warning comes after he addressed a conference organized by the Royal United Services Institute think tank, when he wrote to all soldiers under his command that they should be “ready to fight once again in Europe”.

Speaking at the same event, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace is expected to issue a new call for increased defense spending in the coming years to counter the growing threat. His call comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to attend a summit with other NATO leaders in Madrid, in which he is expected to agree on the biggest change to the Western military alliance since the end of the Cold War. She goes.

A defense source did not deny reports that Mr Wallace had said in a letter to Mr Johnson to increase the annual military budget to 2.5% by 2028 from the current NATO target of 2% of GDP. “We do not comment on alleged leaks. The Defense Secretary and the Prime Minister have always said that the government will respond to any change in threat, which is why the Defense Ministry got a record defense agreement in 2020,” he said.

Liz Truss said NATO should focus on increasing flexibility in the deployment of resources, spending more on modern technologies such as “hybrid warfare, the weaponization of migration, the use of cyberattacks” and more on defense. Two percent should be a floor, not a defense spending limit, the foreign secretary said in an interview with Die Welt, La Repubblica and El País.

In his first public engagement since taking office, General Sanders will say that his focus is on helping the military stop the spread of war in Europe by being “ready to fight and win with our NATO allies and partners”. on gathering. “In all my years in uniform, I have not seen such a clear threat to the principles of sovereignty and democracy, and freedom to live without fear of violence, as the brutal aggression of President Putin and his expansionist ambitions,” he is to say. are supposed to.

“This is our 1937 moment. We are not at war – but must act swiftly so that we do not fall into one because of a failure to halt territorial expansion. I will do everything in my power to ensure that the British army does its part in averting war. ,

Despite the recent emphasis on new capabilities such as drones and cyber warfare, he would say that land forces would remain important in any conflict, adding: “You can’t cyber your way across a river.”

In reference to the start of World War I, General Sanders would say that “it is not too early to go to war at the pace of the 1914 railway timetable”. Instead he would say that stopping Russia means “the army is ready for more time”. the servant “.

In his speech, Mr. Wallace will reiterate his call to increase investment in defense to meet the changing international environment. In March the Defense Secretary wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak before his spring statement that Britain’s defense spending was set to drop below NATO of a minimum of 2% of GDP by the middle of the decade unless the Treasury provided more resources. lamps.

A defense source said: “The Defense Secretary is expected to emphasize that now that the threat has changed, governments must be prepared to invest in keeping us safe.”

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