Posted on August 15, 2019
He was speaking after an event marking the 50th anniversary of troops being deployed in Northern Ireland in what the Army refers to as Operation Banner.
Mr Wallace said “99.99%” of those who served had obeyed and upheld the law.
A group representing those killed or injured by the military have criticised his comments.
It comes as a number of veterans, including an ex-paratrooper known as Soldier F, are facing prosecution. The government is working on legislation to deal with the legacy of the Troubles.
Mr Wallace, who was a soldier and served in Northern Ireland, spoke to the BBC after a ceremony to mark Operation Banner.
He said it was important “to deal with new evidence when it’s presented if there is an allegation of breaking the law”. “No-one is above the law,” he added. “The British Army uphold British values, which is the rule of law, and that’s what we stand for. That’s why were are better than the terrorists.” He said the government had to make sure veterans were not “treated badly” and that they would be “properly supported” by the Ministry of Defence. “We’ve got to treat our veterans properly,” he added. “We’re not going to have this endless fishing inquest circle that’s gone round and round in circles and not actually fixed the problem.” He said it was important that veterans “don’t get knocks in the middle of the night when they are in their 70s and pose no risk to anybody else”.
The defence secretary added that “99.99%” of soldiers who served in Northern Ireland “obeyed the law, upheld the law and protected people who could not protect themselves from both loyalist violence and republican violence”.
“That’s something we should be proud of and it’s something we achieved.”