Britain’s armed forces must be prepared to ‘fight and win’ to prevent the spread of war in Europe, the new head of the Army is warning.
In a speech on Tuesday, General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, will say he had never seen such a clear threat to peace and democracy as the ‘brutal aggression’ of Russian president Vladimir Putin.
He will liken the current situation to the run up to the Second World War, saying Britain must be prepared to ‘act rapidly’ to ensure it is not drawn into a full-scale conflict through its failure to contain Russian expansionism.
The calls for armament came as NATO said Monday it would boost its high readiness force from 40,000 to 300,000 troops and send more heavy weaponry to its eastern flank.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called it ‘the biggest overhaul of our collective defence and deterrence since the Cold War’.
His latest warning, in an address to a conference organised by the Royal United Services Institute think tank, comes after he wrote to all the troops under his command telling them they must prepare ‘to fight in Europe once again’.