Home Business News Former spy chief warns the UK has been ‘infantilised’ and Brits should prepare for conscription 

Former spy chief warns the UK has been ‘infantilised’ and Brits should prepare for conscription 

5th Apr 24 10:43 am

The former spy chief of MI6 has warned that Brits should prepare for conscription as the threat of war with Russia is escalating.

Sir Alex Younger said that the UK government should consider a Swedish style approach to conscription where it is partial and not the whole country.

Speaking during an interview on BBC’s Today Podcast Sir Alex said that UK has been “infantilised” since the Cold War ended.

He said that people should be picked based on their skill levels instead of having a blanket wide call up.

He told the BBC’s Today Podcast, “I don’t think this is about blanket conscription.

“But I think it is about thinking about ways in which the broader country would participate and contribute to security in a time of an emergency, which you know is no longer impossible to imagine.

The Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas and the head of the British Army General Sir Patrick Sanders have both called for a discussion to grow the army and the UK should launch a citizen army.

Sir Alex is calling for the military to be strengthened, he argued that there is a set of key skills that will be required in a hybrid war and “more broadly represented across the whole of society.”

He said, “I think we need a completely different approach to, for instance, our reserve forces which allow us to call on those people in the event of an emergency.

“And then ultimately, in extremis, I think we’d be looking at something like the model I understand exists in places like Sweden where the government theoretically has the power to compel people to give their service one way or another but doesn’t exercise it except in areas where it’s really needed.

“You’ll notice on that list is not everyone being called up and going to the drafting session. I think that’s extremely unlikely.”

Sir Alex said that the UK should move closer to Russia, “I think in some ways those are people [bordering Russia] that have been mugged by reality, and I think I am a person that has been mugged by reality. And I’m a liberal through and through – I want to live in a world where we don’t have to think about this stuff.

“But I’m bound to say that we seem to have convinced ourselves somehow that the advantages we have and the values that are shot through our country are kind of natural and don’t need defending.

“And I think we’re in for a rude shock. And by contrast, if we do decide that we want to defend them, the need to do so probably goes down.”

He added, “I’m up for a wake-up call.”

A NATO ally has “strongly recommended” that the UK introduces conscription and a Tory MP backs this to retain the “ability to mobilise much of the population at short notice.”

Latvia’s Foreign Minister said in an exclusive interview with The Telegraph that NATO allies must consider a “total defence” model whereby a large amount of a “citizen army” can be called up a short notice.

Latvia’s Foreign Minister Krisjanis Karins said it was “inevitable” the UK will have no choice but to increase the defence spending to 3% of Britain’s GDP.

Tobias Ellwood, a former minister and ex-chairman of the Commons defence committee said, “Visiting Finland recently, it was clear to see they have the most impressive ‘total defence’ model in NATO.

“Sitting on the West’s front line during the Cold War necessitated retaining the ability to mobilise much of the population at short notice.

“With Putin securing another six years in office and seeking to emulate Stalin and expand his influence, we too should be reviewing our total defence model.”

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