UK Defence Secretary Warns ‘War is Coming’ to Britain, Demands More Military Spending
UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has warned that “war is coming” to Britain, as he redoubled his demands that the government commit to more military spending.
Speaking ahead of the one-year anniversary of the full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces, Mr Wallace said the world is “definitely more dangerous, more unstable and more insecure” and therefore Rishi Sunak’s government must commit to increasing the defence budget of the nation.
In an interview with the Sun newspaper, Wallace warned: “Conflict is coming by the end of this decade… whether it is a cold war or hot, war is coming.”
“We just have to recognise that in order to deter you just have to be ready, you have to be equipped and you have to stand with your friends and your allies,” he said, adding that therefore “we need a greater proportion of the public spend on defence.”
Warning that the conflict in Ukraine could last for another year, Wallace continued: “We are not in for a period, we are in it until you defeat Russia and Ukrainians can go home. Britain’s message to Russia is we are not giving up and we are not going away.”
The battle over Britain’s defence spending will come to a head next month when the government’s finance chief, Jeremy Hunt will release his Spring Budget. Firing a metaphorical shot across the treasury’s bows, Wallace told the paper: “Freedom isn’t free.”
Ben Wallace is not alone in the defence community in lamenting the derelict state of the British Armed Forces, with Defence Committee Chairman in the House of Commons, Russia hawk Tory MP Tobias Ellwood saying last month that the military is in a “dire state” after cutting some 10,000 soldiers from its ranks.
Despite being able to find money to fund the so-far disastrous green agenda and sending millions in taxpayer money in foreign aid, including to Communist China, over the past decade, the Conservative government saw fit its first seven years in power to slash annual defence spending by £6.6 billion in real terms — a reduction of 14.6 per cent compared to the 2009-10 budget.
As a proportion of GDP, UK defence spending has been cut in half since the 1980s, according to an analysis from Sky News, which claimed that this has resulted in a decline in the availability of military equipment as well as the number of military personnel being reduced from over 300,000 active members in 1989 to just over 145,000 today.
In 2021, the government spent £45.9 billion on defence representing 2.2 per cent of the nation’s GDP, compared to 4.1 per cent in 1980 and approximately 8 per cent in 1956. Defence Secretary Wallace has reportedly called for the government to increase its defence spending by around £10 billion over the next two years in order just to put it on the same level prior to the inflation crisis.
Even though the nation has been grappling with a cost of living crisis, the UK has been one of the chief backers of the war effort in Ukraine, having sent nearly £4 billion to Ukraine in aid, £2.3 billion of which has come in the form of weapons, ammunition, or other military equipment over the past year, alone.
This figure will likely only increase, with the government admitting that it was actively considering shipping fighter jets to the nation following Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky’s visit to London earlier this month.
Last week, Prime Minsiter Rishi Sunak announced that Britain will become the first Western nation to supply Ukraine with “longer range weapons”, believed to be missiles that could expand the conflict to the Crimean peninsula or even possibly the Russian mainland itself.