British troops are “ready to take the lead” and defend Europe should Vladimir Putin place one Russian boot over the line into a NATO country.
Thousands of British troops are to deploy “within days” as the UK is to now lead NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force from Monday.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps warned, “the world is a more dangerous and contested place than it has been for decades.”
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In a direct warning to Putin, the British Defence Secretary said that UK troops “are fully armed and prepared” to fight, war means that troops “want to fight,” but Russian forces are “not up for it.”
NATO’s acting spokesperson Dylan White said, “This brigade needs to be ready to move within days to wherever NATO needs it, making it a key part of our collective defence.
“The UK’s leadership of our highest readiness formation is a clear display of its capabilities and commitment to NATO.”
Lt Col Ben Hawes, who will lead NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, told the Daily Express, “If I ask for it, I get it. I don’t feel like we’ve been under-resourced. Everything has been thrown at making sure we are completely credible.”
Shapps said on Thursday, “The UK is at the heart of NATO.
“By heading up NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force in 2024, we are taking another leading position in the alliance, sending a clear message that Britain is stepping up to our global defence commitments as NATO enters its 75th year.
“The UK’s armed forces stand ready, at a moment’s notice, to defend our allies and protect the British national interest.”
“The world is a more dangerous and contested place than it has been for decades and we need NATO more than ever.
“The UK and its allies are committed to supporting NATO and what it stands for.”