British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace stated Wednesday that the British Army will grow as both the prime minister and the candidate for the position of Prime Minister promise spending increases. The military “needs more money,” he said, citing Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
“I believe that defense needs more money, because there is more threat and I am threat-led,”Sky News was informed by Wallace. Wallace spoke to Sky News. “direct and pressing threat to Europe.”
The British army is moving towards drones and electronic warfare. Government policy plans to see a decrease in troop numbers, from 82,000 troops now to 72,500 in 2025. Wallace told Sky that defence spending will fall to below 2% GDP by 2026. “go from the first [biggest defence spender] in Europe to eighth…and carry on falling.”
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, who are competing for Johnson’s position as Prime Minister and Leader of the Conservative Party respectively, promised to stop this decline. Truss has promised to raise spending to 3 percent of GDP by 2030. Sunak is more prudent, saying that military spending will increase to 2.5% “over time.”
Wallace indicated that he would support the defense candidate. Asked how Truss’ promised 3% would affect the size of the army, he said that certain equipment would likely be bought faster, while more money would be spent on counter-drone warfare and missile defence.
“The lessons from Ukraine are…you are better off having small but perfectly formed armored infantry units…than you are having lots and lots of vehicles with none of those protections because they just get killed on a modern battlefield,”He said.
“I think you would see an increase in the numbers of the army, but not necessarily where people think,”He added that the numbers would increase where he was able to. “relevant.”
UK should be ready to fight Russia – army chief
The military leadership will ultimately decide how to allocate the budget, Wallace said that Ukraine’s experience against Russian forces will be studied by the top brass to determine Britain’s vulnerabilities.
The UK defence establishment has been squarely focused on Russia as of late, with the country’s new armed forces commander explicitly stating last month that British troops must prepare “to fight in Europe once again” and “defeat Russia in battle.” Meanwhile, the UK has already spent £2.3 billion ($2.7 billion) on weapons and training for Kiev’s military since February – equivalent to 5% of Britain’s 2021 military budget.
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