General Sir Patrick Sanders, the outgoing Chief of the General Staff (CGS) has said in a speech on Wednesday that the UK should “train and equip” the public for a “citizen army.”
General Sir Patrick said the UK has to be ready for a potential land war, but cautioned even that would be “not enough.”
He pointed to our allies in eastern and northern Europe who are currently “laying the foundation for national mobilisation.”
The Army chief said on Wednesday to increase numbers in the armed forces to prepare for all out war will need to be a “whole of nation undertaking.”
The Dail Telegraph reported in a warning that British men and women need to prepare to be called up to fight should NATO and Russia enter conflict triggering Article 5.
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General Sir Patrick said in 2022 after Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine that this “is our 1937 moment,” warning the British Army should now be at “high readiness.”
Sir Patrick warned on Wednesday that Britain cannot rely on our navy and air power, he added, “we must be able to credibly fight and win wars on land.”
He said, “We need an Army designed to expand rapidly to enable the first echelon, resource the second echelon and train and equip the citizen army that must follow.
“Within the next three years, it must be credible to talk of a British Army of 120,000, folding in our reserve and strategic reserve. But this is not enough.
“Our friends in eastern and northern Europe, who feel the proximity of the Russian threat more acutely, are already acting prudently, laying the foundations for national mobilisation.
“As the chairman of the NATO military committee warned just last week, and as the Swedish government has done, preparing Sweden for entry to NATO, taking preparatory steps to enable placing our societies on a war footing when needed are now not merely desirable but essential.
“We will not be immune and as the pre-war generation we must similarly prepare — and that is a whole-of-nation undertaking.
“Ukraine brutally illustrates that regular armies start wars; citizen armies win them.”
Tory MP Tobias Ellwood who served with General Sir Patrick told Sky News there is a “1939 feel to the world” and he warned that UK is not ready to deal with what is soon to come “over the horizon.”
Ellwood said General Sir Patrick is “one of the most cerebral thinkers that we’ve got” and a great “strategist.”
Ellwood said that the government needs “to listen and listen carefully, we’ve been too complacent.
“What’s coming over the horizon should shock us. It should worry us and we are not prepared.”
Ellwood who is a former British Army officer warned that countries such as Russia could try to “exploit our timidity, perhaps our reluctance to really put fires out.”
The Tory MP said, “So Patrick Sanders is saying prepare for what’s coming over the horizon – there is a 1939 feel to the world right now.
“These authoritarian states are rearming.
“There’s a risk averseness about the West in wanting to deal with that and our global institutions such as the United Nations aren’t able to hold these errant nations to account.”