UK faces WWIII in ‘five years’ if it doesn’t re-arm over ‘new axis’ threat

A comp of Keir Starmer and an explosion in the distance

The new Labour government has committed to spending 2.5% of GDP, when the economy is in a better place (Picture: Getty/Reuters/EPA)

There is a risk of a World War Three-style global conflict – within five years – if Nato does not wake up from its military slumber, the outgoing head of the British army has warned.

General Sir Patrick Sanders said Western powers would enter Vladimir Putin’s trap by the end of the decade by not re-arming themselves.

He described Russia, Iran and China as ‘the new Axis powers’, stressing that they pose an even greater threat than Nazi Germany.

In an interview with The Times, the general said: ‘Most estimates will tell you that we have somewhere between five and 10 years before Russia recapitalises and is able to pose the sort of threat that it did before the Ukraine war.’

Putin may order operations before then that are ‘just below the level of conflict’ or ‘seize some territory opportunistically’, he added.

Sir Patrick said: ‘If we take the right steps now, if we address the threats and gaps we have in our capability, if we modernise our armed forces, if we make society and the UK more resilient, that is how we prevent it.’

A Challenger 2 main battle tank of the British forces during the Nato’s Spring Storm exercise in Kilingi-Nomme, Estonia (Picture: AP)

Under his assessment, the British military is no longer strong enough to undertakea conflict like the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

His warning comes in time as Sir Keir Starmer will depart for Washington today for the 75th anniversary of the Trans-Atlantic alliance this week.

In its manifesto, the Labour Party has committed to spending 2.5% of GDP, when the economy is in a better place.

But military sciences director at RUSI, Matthew Savill, urged the new government to make decisions sooner rather than later if it does not want to face becoming ‘hollow’.

Like general Sanders, he identified a ‘rogues gallery of state threats’, with Russia and China in the vanguard, Iran and North Korea following close behind.

More than a dozen Apache, Wildcat and Chinook helicopters assemble to take-off together from Wattisham Flying Station in Suffolk for training in Finland and Estonia (Picture: Getty)

Non-state groups like Yemen’s Houthi movement are filling in the gaps.

In the case of firepower and destructive force, ‘numbers do matter’, Mr Savill said, explaining further: ‘The trend of the past 35 years has been to trade numbers for sophistication, but this has overall led to a diminution of total firepower.

‘The UK can do some things well, but not at a particularly impressive scale when the adversary is a state with significant military power of its own which is prepared to suffer losses.

‘Even a recent defence secretary admitted that the forces had been “hollowed out” over a period of years.’

RUSI experts assess that for the army to deploy a single armoured brigade would require the commitment of around 70 to 80% of its total combat engineering capabilities in order to cross rivers or …read more

Source:: Metro


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