The risk of a new world war is real, warns the head of the British armed forces | UK News

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There is a risk of a new world war if current and smaller conflicts escalate uncontrollably, attracting more countries and weapons, the chief of the British armed forces has warned.

General Sir Nick Carter said that the global economic crisis caused by the coronavirus The pandemic could also trigger new security threats, even war.

In an interview with Sky News for Remembrance Sunday, the Chief of the Defense Staff proposed a vision for the British military in the 2030s, saying it could include 90,000 human soldiers and 30,000 robots.

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General Sir Nick Carter said the world is currently “a very uncertain and anxious place”

He also revealed the desire for a multi-year Treasury budget settlement this month to allow the military to make the long-term investments needed for modernization.

the chancellor abandoned multi-year expenditure review plans for departments in November due to the uncertainty of COVID-19[feminine[feminine.

Instead, one-year budgets are being prepared, although discussions continue to see if the Defense Ministry can have a different regulation.

It is unusual for a senior officer to comment on an impending political decision.

Speaking at the National Army Museum in LondonGen. Carter stressed the importance of remembrance, even at a time when the country is grappling with the COVID-19 crisis and growing economic hardship.

“It’s about honoring those who gave their lives in the service of our country and of course they did so to protect our way of life and our freedom. I think it would be very dangerous if we forget this, ”he said.

Asked why it would be dangerous, he replied, “Because I think what we too would forget is the real horror of war and if you forget the horror of war the great risk, I think, is that people might think war is a reasonable thing to do. ”

Economic crises in the past have led to security crises, and General Carter said he feared this could happen again given the blow to the global economy from the pandemic.

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Chancellor recently abandoned multi-year spending review plans

“I think we live at a time when the world is a very uncertain and anxious place,” he said.

“I think the real risk we have, with a lot of regional conflicts going on right now, is that you might see an escalation lead to miscalculations and that’s something I think we have to fight against. keep. ”

Explaining what he meant by miscalculation, the military commander said: “The protagonists, either because they do not realize the implications of their actions, lead to an escalation, which means that more people are ‘perhaps imply, more weapons are involved and before you can contain him, he leads the camps which end up in a full blown war.

“We have to remember that history may not repeat itself, but it has a rhythm and if you look at the last century, before the two world wars, I think it was indisputable that there had been a escalation which led to the miscalculation which ultimately led to war. a scale we hope to never see again. ”

When asked if he said the threat of another world war was real, General Carter said, “I say it’s a risk and I think we need to be aware of those risks and c is why Remembrance is important because if you look at history hopefully you learn from their experience and make sure you are very careful about how you handle the types of regional conflicts that we see unfold in. the world today. ”

He did not specify which conflicts, but at least 1,000 people have died in nearly six weeks of fighting in clashes between turkey-Azerbaijan supported and Russia-allied Armenia on the mountainous enclave of Haut-Karabakh.

A large plume of smoke was seen rising from Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh
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Around 1,000 died in clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan

At the same time, countries, including Russia, Iran, the WE and the UK, have forces operating in or around Syria.

Meanwhile at Ukraine, a conflict continues between Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country and Ukrainian government forces.

Turning to the UK, the Commander-in-Chief said he was unsure whether the Treasury would give defense a multi-year budget settlement.

“At the moment, negotiations are going on in a very constructive way,” General Carter said.

“But clearly from our point of view, we’re going to be arguing for something like this because we need long term investment because long term investment gives us the opportunity to have confidence in modernization.

“Modernization basically means you’re going to park some capacity, maybe industrial age, and you want to expect some of the capacity you need in the information age.

“And having the confidence to do that of course means you need confidence in your long-term investment. ”

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Defense analysts believe a multi-year budget is needed to fund the military element of a major upheaval in defense, security and foreign policy led by Boris Johnson’s government.

The Integrated Review was due to be unveiled this month, but it is expected to be further delayed due to the pandemic – its release was originally slated for early this year.

The paper is expected to outline how the British armed forces are adapting, with analysts predicting a reduction in heavy armor, such as tanks, and a stronger focus on lighter, more agile forces, as well as cyber weapons and vehicles and aircraft. autonomous.

“I think you’re going to see armed forces designed for the 2030s,” General Carter said. “You won’t get there overnight, but that’s the meaning of the journey. ”

When asked if he could provide a bit more clarity on whether the review would mean a reduction in the target number for the army of 82,000 troops, the military commander replied, “No, I don’t. cannot specify it, in particular because the decisions were not it. but what I mean is we have to think about how we measure the effects in a different way.

“I mean, I suspect we may have an army of 120,000 of which 30,000 could be robots, who knows.

“But the answer is we need to open our minds to maybe the numbers don’t determine what we should be doing, but rather the effect we can get, that’s really what we should be looking for. “

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 06: Soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment prepare a Covid-19 mass test site in the Liverpool Tennis Center at Wavertree Sports Park on November 6, 2020 in Liverpool, England.  The government is piloting loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) coronavirus testing technology, offering all Liverpool residents rapid-result tests to identify who has COVID-19 and asking them to self-isolate.  If this technology is successful, it could lead to the end of lockdowns as
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Armed forces supported mass coronavirus testing in Liverpool

The armed forces play a key role in the government’s response to the pandemic, with some 2,000 people deployed to Liverpool to help with a coronavirus mass test program for the city.

“I suspect that if this works successfully, we might find that there are other areas where we need to help in a similar way,” General Carter said.

He said using the military to take over the entire coronavirus testing program was an option, but added he was confident in the current setup for now.

Returning to Remembrance, Gen. Carter said it was a shame the coronavirus restrictions mean veterans won’t be able to mark Remembrance Sunday in the same way as usual.

“But at the end of the day, remembering is also basically a very personal thing and I think the message I would like to get across to people is that let’s remember back home if we can’t do it collectively, let’s stick to our own. take the step at 11 o’clock and bow your head and think about what our ancestors did for us. “

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