Posted on October 3, 2017
The UK must rebuild its military power, general tells the PM: Former top brass says enemy states now have the power to seriously threaten Britain
- Sir Richard Barrons has warned the PM that enemy states could threaten the UK
- The former head of Joint Forces Commands called for forces to be restored
- Said the Government ‘must break with the path of reductions’
Theresa May must reverse the ‘hollowing out’ of the Armed Forces, a former top general has warned.
In a letter to the Prime Minister, Sir Richard Barrons said enemy states now had the capability to seriously threaten the UK.
He called for urgent action to ‘restore our warfighting edge’ and said spending on research and development was ‘woefully insufficient’.
‘Our world is changing rapidly and the security environment for the UK is becoming more complex and uncertain,’ wrote the former head of Joint Forces Command.
‘Some states with whom we are on difficult terms now have the military capability to seriously threaten the UK homeland and our vital interests.
‘The Government must break with the path of reductions in defence permitted since the end of the Cold War and restore the military security of the UK if it is to keep us safe.’
Sir Richard, who retired last year, said plans were needed to defend against cyber and missile attacks.
‘These could pose risks in the future at very short notice to our homeland and our interests,’ he added.
‘Some measures, such as new operational contingency plans, will cost little.
‘Others will require a surge in funding to offset decades of … hollowing out the people, equipment, training and support necessary to defend the UK. The Government must now be bold enough and competent enough to rejuvenate the defence and security of the UK.
‘We won’t always have the luxury to choose to be left alone or to remain inactive in a tough, globalised world.’
The Ministry of Defence, Treasury and other key departments are reviewing security capabilities amid concerns the weakened pound could impact on the amount of equipment that can be bought.
Sir Michael Fallon will today give his defence speech to the Tory party conference, where he will unveil a deal to try to ensure more Royal Navy ships are at sea. A £1billion commitment will speed up repairs.
He will say: ‘This new deal will support the Royal Navy as we prepare to welcome two huge new aircraft carriers, two new classes of frigates and new support ships.
‘We are growing the Royal Navy and ensuring that our warships will spend more time out at sea defending Britain’s interests.
‘Through our rising defence budget we are helping to keep people safe at home while working with allies abroad.’
The MoD is spending £178billion on the equipment plan over the next ten years.