Home Business News UK at risk of a ‘major’ war if our ‘armed forces are not strong enough to deter future aggression’

UK at risk of a ‘major’ war if our ‘armed forces are not strong enough to deter future aggression’

20th Jan 24 10:56 am

General Lord Dannatt has warned the UK risks a repeat of 1930s unless the government invests more money into the armed forces.

He warned that the army is shrinking in size and has fallen 102,000 in 2006 to 74,000 today and pay and conditions needs to be “urgently reviewed” to attract new recruits.

Lor Dannatt said a “pay rise to attract recruits and to retain current trained personnel should be a priority, as should addressing the appalling quality of some armed forces accommodation.”

Writing in The Times Lord Dannatt made reference to the 1930s when the British forces failed to deter Adolf Hitler, he warned, “There is a serious danger of history repeating itself.”

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He added, “If our armed forces are not strong enough to deter future aggression from Moscow or Beijing it will not be a small war to contend with but a major one.”

The Times then quoted a former senior US general who said the UK has been seen as “having diminished capabilities over the past couple of decades.

“Hence, while being the most important ally across the board, it is decidedly not what it used to be, regrettably.”

Commander of UK Joint Forces Command, General Sir Richard Barrons told MailOnline, “This feels, as I imagine, how it would have been in the 1930s before the Second World War.

“We could just be surprised and done over and that won’t be because we didn’t see the problem coming because we can – it’s on our doorstep.

“If we are at risk of being pre-conflict rather than post-conflict, then we need to do a better job about deterrence – that’s having a resilient and credible force.

“At the moment I think we’re riding our luck. That’s a thing that keeps me awake at night.”

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps told The Telegraph on Friday, “It is vital that we continue to lead, deter hostile states and act to defend our country whenever and wherever we need.

“But I would also say that nothing is inevitable. We can deter such threats by being prepared and standing strong with our allies. That is why we are investing in our Armed Forces and our allies.

“This is not about being alarmist. It’s about being ready and being in the right place to defend our interests.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “British Army tanks are currently operating in Europe defending the UK and its allies, while later this year 20,000 UK sailors, soldiers and aviators will serve on NATO manoeuvres in Europe.

“In the Middle East, the Royal Navy has destroyed drones threatening shipping and freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and the Royal Air Force has weakened the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

“Whilst there are undoubted challenges to military recruitment, people are at the heart of the military and the MoD is taking tangible and concrete steps to address shortfalls. More widely the UK is spending more than £50 billion on Defence this year to protect our interests wherever they are threatened.”

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