British army chief warns: UK public could be called to fight in war against Russia | World News

British army chief warns: UK public could be called to fight in war against Russia | World News

NEW DELHI: The British army’s top official is poised to alert the nation that in the face of a potential conflict with Russia, citizens might be summoned to serve, due to the military’s limited capacity to manage such a confrontation independently. General Sir Patrick Sanders, the Chief of the General Staff, is emphasizing the urgency for government officials to ready the nation for a broader skirmish with Russia, particularly in light of its ongoing aggression in Ukraine, a Daily Mail report said.
Nearly two years ago, General Sir Patrick likened the situation to Britain’s precarious position in 1937, just before the outbreak of the Second World War.He has been vocal about the inadequacies in military staffing and insists on a paradigm shift in public attitude towards national defense.

With the British army experiencing a reduction to its smallest size in centuries, Gen Sir Patrick, who has openly expressed concerns about the reduction in troop numbers, is advocating for British citizens to be ready for potential conscription if Nato engages in warfare with Putin.

Despite the army chief’s reservations about conscription, Nato leaders are cautioning member states to be prepared for comprehensive measures to counter Russian aggression. General Sir Patrick Sanders, who is nearing the end of his tenure as the head of the British Army, is expected to deliver this cautionary message amidst escalating strains between Vladimir Putin and Nato countries.

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The general’s advisory is perceived as a stern forewarning to the government, especially given his previous criticisms of the Army’s equipment and personnel numbers. He is scheduled to address the British populace at the International Armoured Vehicles Conference in Twickenham, as reported by the Daily Telegraph.
General Sir Patrick has likened the army’s current equipment, such as the Warrior armoured vehicle and the Challenger 2 tank, to outdated technology, criticizing the procurement process and the diminished state of the land industrial base. He has also pointed out the inadequacies of the Army Reserve.
His imminent departure from the role has been lamented by Tobias Ellwood, the then-chair of the Commons defence select committee, who praised General Sir Patrick for his candidness with political leaders.

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The potential reintroduction of conscription would mark the first instance in over six decades that British citizens would be mandated to serve. The concept of mandatory military service dates back to the First World War and continued after the Second World War until the early 1960s. While conscription has not been reinstated, the notion of a period of national service has been proposed, albeit in a more voluntary capacity.
Amid these developments, all three branches of the UK’s armed forces are facing a recruitment and retention crisis, with the number of fully trained soldiers in the Army expected to decline to 72,500.

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General Sir Patrick’s admonition coincides with a senior Nato official’s warning that the West might face a full-scale war with Moscow within the next twenty years. This is one of several alerts issued by military leaders and ministers across member states.
The Nato recently signed a significant contract to produce artillery rounds for member countries, and it is mobilizing a substantial number of troops for exercises aimed at deterring Russia from contemplating an attack on any member states.

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has cautioned Western nations against threatening Russia amidst the ongoing tensions over Ukraine. Admiral Rob Bauer, a prominent figure in the Nato military committee, has stressed the need for Europe to recognize its role in potential conflicts and for civilians and governments to be ready for war.
Sweden, on the brink of joining Nato, has also alerted its citizens about the possibility of engaging in an all-out war. Norway’s defense chief has added to the growing chorus of voices urging preparation for a conflict with Russia.

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As the situation unfolds, Russia continues its intensified aerial assault on Ukraine, with recent strikes marking one of the heaviest barrages since the drone attacks at the beginning of the year. The conflict has resulted in significant civilian casualties and injuries, and the international community remains on high alert as tensions continue to escalate.
(With inputs from agencies)

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