UK Military Are 'unable' to protect from attack

Physinews Reports: Britain's Armed Forces are unable to protect
the country from a full-scale attack, the
former head of the Joint Forces Command
has warned.
General Sir Richard Barrons, who retired in

April, said that civil servants are focused on
"skinning" budgets rather than tackling
"profoundly difficult" strategic challenges.
In a memo to Defence Minister Michael
Fallon, Sir Richard added that the Ministry of
Defence has worked to "preserve the shop
window" but the Armed Forces' capability
had been "withered by design".

The warning comes despite the
Government's decision to increase spending
by nearly £5bn by 2020/21 and to meet
NATO's target to spend 2% of GDP on
defence for the rest of the decade.
Sir Richard said: "There is a sense that
modern conflict is ordained to be only as
small and as short term as we want to afford
- and that is absurd.

"The failure to come to terms with this will
not matter at all if we are lucky in the way the
world happens to turn out but it could matter
a very great deal if even a few of the risks
now at large conspire against the UK."

The memo, seen by the Financial Times,
singles out Russia as a possible threat to
British defences.
Sir Richard said: "UK air defence now
consists of the (working) Type 45
(destroyers), enough ground-based air
defence to protect roughly Whitehall only,
and RAF fast jets.

"Neither the UK homeland nor a deployed
force - let alone both concurrently - could be
protected from a concerted Russian air
effort."

The former Joint Forces Command chief also
raised concerns that Britain's Armed Forces
are reliant on small numbers of expensive
equipment, such as new aircraft carriers,
which "we cannot afford to use fully, damage
or lose".

The warning comes a day after the MoD
announced that it is finalising a £30m deal
to develop a hi-tech laser weapon.

In a statement, the MoD said: "Our defence
review last year put in place a plan for more
ships, planes and troops at readiness.

"That plan was backed by a rising defence
budget.

"And, crucially, it was backed by all of the
service chiefs."

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