Britains danger over faltering defence spending in face of Putin

General Lord Dannatt calls for more investment in armed forces

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a £5billion boost in defence spending, he has come under fire for the announcement after widespread speculation that Defence Secretary Ben Wallace will be disappointed by the news, Mr Wallace had hoped for more than double the figure, as well as three percent of the UK’s GDP in the long term rather than the 2.5 percent of national income proposed by the Prime Minister. Now, the British Army’s former Chief of General Staff has stressed the importance of spending money on the land army to ensure Britain is adequately protected and to stop Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr Sunak announced the increase in spending at the Aukus summit with US President Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, explaining that it will take place over the next two years.

He also said defence spending being raised above 2.5 percent of GDP will be reviewed in two years’ time.

The defence secretary is believed to have been pushing for an extra £10billion with defence spending at three percent of GDP, as promised by former Prime Minister Liz Truss, to come into force by 2030.

Richard Dannatt, formerly the British Army’s Chief of General Staff, told Times Radio that the current amount proposed by the Government was merely a third of what most analysts believe should be spent, warning that this could be a precarious move, particularly when it comes to Russia.

He said it is important for the defence sector to be properly funded in order for Britain to help America and Australia in the Indo-Pacific, stressing that it must play its “full part” in European security.

Downing Street has announced that £3billion will be spent on the UK and US pact, known as Aukus, which supplies Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, while just under £2billion will be spent on weapons sent to Ukraine and on Britain’s weapons infrastructure.

Despite the fact that a land war is raging in Europe, the British land army is “woefully underfunded” and “underinvested”, Lord Dannatt claimed.

He also questioned when the 2.5 percent GDP promise will come into force and what exactly the extra money will be spent on, adding: “I would say this because I’m one of the blokes who used to run the army, frankly we should be spending more on our army. There are lessons for history to show that if we don’t, we stand in danger.”

Many have criticised the frugality of the spending announcement with Conservative chairman of the Defence Committee, Tobias Ellwood, telling the BBC on March 13 that Mr Wallace had hoped for some £10billion “just to say level”.

He stressed that both Russia and China will be “breathing a sigh of relief” at the low levels of investment. Much like Lord Dannatt, he added that the next two years will be “very dangerous indeed”.

Similarly, Major General Charles Collins, Assistant Chief of the General Staff, stressed the importance of a land army and noted the dire state it is currently in when speaking with the Daily Mail this weekend.

He claimed that if Britain were fighting the war against Putin alone, it would have both run out of ammunition and equipment already, doubting Britain’s claim as one of NATO’s leading members.

Don’t miss…
POLL: Should Lady Louise be given a new title? [POLL]
John Wayne’s ‘hard to watch’ acting ripped apart by Daniel Day-Lewis [ANALYSIS]
Harry and Meghan’s fate foreshadowed by past royal evictions [INSIGHT]

He added: “It is impossible to lead by example in NATO or internationally unless we are combat-credible in all domains.

“To fight wars solely via proxy is a risk. Proxy forces are not your own and will have their own political ends that cannot be expected to align exactly with those of the British Army.”

One unnamed Conservative MP told the Express’s political editor David Maddox that Mr Wallace was merely highballing in a negotiation, adding that the defence secretary “probably got what he wanted” and expected.

In November last year, Mr Wallace told the Government the army would be reduced to just £73,000 by the mid-2020s.

When it comes to the war in Ukraine, the UK spent £2.3billion in military support in 2022 and has committed to spending the same this year, meaning a total of £4.6billion will head to the war-torn nation over a period of two years, according to Government statistics.

Source: Read Full Article