A senior British military commander has said that should NATO be attacked they have “the ability to blunt a Russian attack” and the UK is fully equipped to fight a war with Russia.
General Barrons told the House of Commons Defence Committee on 19 April 19 NATO “will have a call to make” should Russia attack any of the Alliance.
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He added, “And that call would be easier if we had made any preparations at all to act in those circumstances at the speed required, and we have not.”
Air Marshal Richard Knighton, deputy chief of the defence staff, rejected claims made by General Barrons, and warned that “NATO isn’t ready.”
However, AM Knighton told the committee that NATO’s mission was “to deter an attack” and Russia “is learning a lesson about the cost of invasion” in Ukraine.
AM Knighton was asked directly by Conservative MP Richard Drax if the UK has enough equipment and ammunition to fight Russia for more than a week, he said, “Yes.”
He said, “General Barrons is a renowned commentator on such matters since he retired.
“The scenarios that we work through are many and varied, but if you are asking does NATO have the ability to blunt a Russian attack, yes it does.”
Chairman Tobias Ellwood gave the committee a less direct answer to question as to what success in Ukraine would look like.
On Monday Ellwood asked the same question of Defence Secretary Ben Wallace in the House of Commons.
Wallace said Putin “must fail” however what this means was “as much a matter of Ukraine’s choice as it is of anybody else.”
Ellwood said, “I do encourage the MoD, through NATO, the Defence Secretary, to establish and confirm what mission success looks like, because that then determines what equipment you pile in.
“This is ever-increasingly a proxy war which will spill beyond Ukraine if any part of Ukraine remains in Russian hands and these are the difficult questions that need answering, potentially by Madrid at the NATO summit.”
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