The British defense minister does not rule out a global conflict by the end of the decade

The British defense minister does not rule out a global conflict by the end of the decade

British Minister of Defense Ben Wallace/ PHOTO:

British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has warned of the threat of a wider global conflict by the end of the decade, calling for an increase in UK military spending, writes the Financial Times.

“By the end of the decade, the world will be a more dangerous and unstable place, and defense will be central to our lives,” he said, pointing to the risk of a wider conflict with Russia following its large-scale invasion of Ukraine, as well as the threat posed by the “rise of China” and the spread of extremism in Africa.

“The world is seeing the end of the anomalous period after the Cold War. I think a conflict is coming, whether it will be hot or cold, we will see… I think a conflict is coming with a number of adversaries from around the world… We all have to be ready for it,” the minister said in an interview for the Financial Times.

Wallace’s warning, which plays an important role in gaining broad European support for Ukraine, was accompanied by a request to British Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt to set a time frame for implementing the pledge to increase the defense budget from 2, 1% to 2.5% of GDP.

In March, Hunt pledged an extra £11 billion to the Ministry of Defense over the next five years. He also confirmed the government’s desire to increase defense spending to 2.5 percent of GDP over the long term, but did not specify a deadline.

Wallace: The military needs the most urgent investment

Wallace said he supports the additional funding, but added that a clear timeline needs to be set.

British defense spending has fallen fairly steadily since its all-time high in the mid-1950s, when it was around 7% of GDP. Wallace has secured a series of one-time cash infusions since becoming Defense Secretary in 2019, but much of that money has gone toward major projects like new nuclear submarines that have cut into the Department’s current budget.

According to RUSI’s analysis, increasing the core defense budget to 2.5% of GDP by the end of this decade would require additional spending of £14bn in 2029-2030 and a further £42bn over the next five years.

Wallace pointed out that the Army is most in need of urgent investment, saying it is 15 years behind and in need of modernization.

He plans to present an updated defense document for 2021 outlining plans to modernize the armed forces and is preparing for another “battle” with Hunt over funding.

“The government needs to get its priorities straight… If you don’t tell the Treasury that the next round of defense spending is going to get a bigger chunk of the money, it won’t prepare for it,” Wallace explained.

He also appeared to reject calls from critics to reverse his decision to cut the army by 9,500 troops to 72,500, arguing that new technology would allow fewer personnel to have a greater impact.

Allies prepare for possible Russian use of weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine if counter-offensive succeeds

As for Ukraine, Wallace said the forces in Kiev are well trained, equipped and highly motivated ahead of the counteroffensive that is expected in the near future. However, he warned that Western allies should not see the attempt to drive the Russians out of the temporarily occupied territory as “another push” that will necessarily lead to the end of the war.

Wallace also noted that Britain and other allies are preparing for the possibility that Russian forces could deploy weapons of mass destruction against Ukraine if the counteroffensive is successful. He stressed that any use of chemical weapons would be unacceptable and would be met with an appropriate response.

The war has become a catastrophe for Ukraine and a crisis for the whole world. The world has become more unstable and dangerous since Russia invaded its neighbor on February 24, 2022. Many Ukrainian civilians were killed, countless buildings were destroyed. Tens of thousands of soldiers were killed or wounded on both sides. Outside of Ukraine, the Russian invasion has destroyed European security, reshaped relations between countries and shaken the tightly-knit global economy.

Source: Breaking News – Cele mai importante stiri – by

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