Deputy Chief Of Defence Staff, Insist UK Not Ready For War With Russia, Will Lose In 2 Months 

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Deputy Chief Of Defence Staff, Insist UK Not Ready For War With Russia, Will Lose In 2 Months 

The Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, Lt Gen Sir Rob Magowan, acknowledged that Britain would be unable to sustain a conflict against Russia for longer than two months.

He emphasized the necessity for the Armed Forces to navigate the operational challenges arising from insufficient resources in potential future conflicts.

This revelation follows Defense Secretary Grant Shapps’ disclosure to MPs that he had advocated for increased defense spending in the recent Budget to no avail, despite lobbying Rishi Sunak and Jeremy Hunt.

A senior Royal Marines officer said: “We’ve been very clear that the amount of money we’re spending on munitions at the moment … which is significant … does not meet, in all areas, the threats that we face. We’ve been clear that we need to spend more money, above the programme of record, on what we call integrated air missile defence.”

When put to him by Mark Francois, the former Armed Forces minister, that the UK “couldn’t fight [Vladimir] Putin for more than a couple of months in a full-on shooting war because we don’t have the ammunition and the reserve of equipment to do it, that’s true, isn’t it?” Sir Rob acknowledged that was true.

Mr Shapps added that any such conflict would be fought alongside NATO allies who could collectively outgun Russia, rather than by the UK alone.

He said: “For people watching, and hearing that the UK isn’t ready for war exclusively with Russia, it’s important to understand that because we are in NATO and [mutual defence agreement] Article 5 exists, we would never be in that situation.”

Increasingly Overstretched’

Following a critical inquiry by the Commons defence committee, it was revealed that Britain’s Armed Forces, described as “increasingly overstretched,” are ill-prepared for a potential conflict with Russia.

The inquiry concluded that without urgent reforms to address a recruitment crisis and a significant increase in the stockpile of weapons and ammunition, the government would never achieve warfighting or strategic readiness.

The MPs emphasized the necessity for more funding to enable the Armed Forces to engage in operations while enhancing warfighting readiness, or else they would need to alleviate the operational burden on the military.

Former defence chiefs informed the committee that since 2010, the Armed Forces had been significantly weakened, and in a conflict against a peer adversary, their capabilities would be depleted within the initial months of engagement. While Lt Gen Sir Rob maintained that the UK was “ready for war,” he admitted that it was not prepared for a prolonged conflict with Russia.

Additionally, Defense Secretary Mr Shapps highlighted the importance of drone warfare, citing lessons learned from the conflict in Ukraine, where drones are both lethal and cost-effective.

“This [Ukraine] is probably the first true drone war and I don’t think we will ever see a war again that doesn’t heavily involve drones,” he said.

In the previous month, the UK revealed its plan to collaborate with Latvia in leading a new coalition aimed at supplying Ukraine with thousands of kamikaze drones, addressing the escalating ammunition shortages on the front lines. This initiative involves engaging Western manufacturers to produce first-person-view (FPV) attack drones, a development that Ukrainian military commanders have lauded for its transformative impact on the conflict with Russia.

Shapps said: “Drones belie the usual facts of war. Usually, every generation gets more expensive to have lethal effect, but actually drones, which sometimes cost a few thousand pounds, can be extremely lethal.”

However, he cautioned that “basic warfare and ammunition” remained important in any future conflict.

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