BRITAIN is facing “the moment of 1937” and must be ready to “fight and win” in a new World War against Russia, the head of Britain’s army warned today.
General Sir Patrick Sanders has clearly warned that our armed forces must be prepared to confront Putin head-on to prevent further contagion in Europe – and avert the threat. threat from Moscow.
In his first public address as Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Sanders stated that he had never seen a threat to peace and democracy as clear as the “brutal aggression” of Russian President Putin.
At the annual military conference this morning, he said: “In all my years in uniform, I have never known such a clear threat to the principles of sovereignty and democracy, and to freedoms. live without fear of violence, like brutal aggression. of President Putin and his expansionist ambitions.
“This is our 1937 time. We are not at war – but must act quickly so that we are not drawn into one by a failure to contain territorial expansion.
“I will do everything in my power to ensure that the British Army plays its part in preventing war.”
Continuing his speech at the Royal Service Institute of Great Britain (RUSI), he said: “If this battle happens we will probably be outnumbered at the point of attack and fight like hell.
“Air, marine or cyber fires are unlikely to prevail on their own – Land will still be the deciding area.
“And while I’m not bowing to anyone advocating for the need for a game-changing digital transformation, frankly, you can’t steer the network your way across a river.
“There is no single platform, ability or tactic that will solve the problem.
“Success will be determined by synergies and multidisciplinary competencies. And volume.”
General Sir Sanders also cited the beginning of World War I, saying: “This is not a war in haste at the speed of the railroad schedule of 1914.”
Instead, he warned, deterring Russia would mean: “More militaries ready in the near term.”
This would include anyone from, “generals in the Main Building (Ministry of Defense), to young corporals in the barracks room, from reserve personnel during a weekend exercise, to civil servants in headquarters.” military department”.
Speaking at the same event, Defense Secretary Ben Wallace made a new call for increased defense spending in the coming years to counter the growing threat.
This comes after he wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – ahead of his spring announcement in March – saying that UK defense spending was set to fall below the NATO minimum of 2%. GDP by the middle of this decade.
That is unless the Treasury commits more resources.
A defense source said: “The Defense Secretary and the Prime Minister have always said that the Government will respond to any change in threat, that’s why in 2020, the Ministry of Defense received a record defense settlement.”
The warning comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson prepares to join NATO leaders in Madrid for a summit.
There, they are expected to agree on the biggest overhaul of the Western military alliance since the end of the Cold War.
Meanwhile, Sir Patrick compared Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the rise of Nazi Germany given the rockets that hit a crowded shopping mall in the central Ukrainian city of Kremenchuk on Monday. .
The attack killed at least 16 civilians and injured dozens more.
G7 leaders on Monday night called the attack “abominable”, adding that they would hold Putin accountable for war crimes.
In a joint statement, world leaders said: “We, the leaders of the G7, solemnly condemn the heinous attack on a shopping mall in Kremenchuk.
“Indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians constitute a war crime. Russian President Putin and those responsible will be held accountable.”
Dmytro Lunin, head of the Poltava regional government, also added: “The missile attack on the shopping center inhabited by people in Kremenchuk is another military crime committed by the Russians.
“A crime against humanity. This is an obvious, questionable act of terrorism against peaceful civilians.
“Russia is a country of terror.”