Security prospects in the UK are more dangerous today than at any time in the past 30 years, warns the new chief of the armed forces, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin

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Security prospects in the UK are more dangerous today than at any time in the past 30 years, warns the new chief of the armed forces, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin


The security outlook for the UK and its allies is far more dangerous today than at any time in the past 30 years, the new chief of the armed forces warned in his first speech.

Citing four main rivals by name, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin called Russia’s behavior a “threat to our values ​​and interests” – but made no mention of Ukraine despite increased concern over a threat of another Russian invasion of the country.

The chief of defense staff accused China of “questioning international standards of behavior: whether it is freedom of navigation, economic intimidation or the diplomacy of wolf warriors “.

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Admiral Sir Tony Radakin delivers his first speech

And on Iran and North Korea, he said Tehran could “soon” join Pyongyang by posing a “nuclear and ballistic threat” to the UK and its allies.

Frankly speaking, the former First Sea Lord also touched on the impact on the reputation of the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan over the summer following a takeover by the Taliban.

“Like it or not, our withdrawal from Afghanistan is water milling for those who subscribe to a narrative around the decline of the West,” he said.

In an annual speech by the Chief of the Defense Staff to the Royal United Services think tank, Admiral Radakin described a feeling of “back to the future”, with autocracies facing democracies.

Although he said that unlike the Cold War, the picture today is much more complex with rival states competing and at the same time trading.

“We are undoubtedly more prosperous today than at the end of the Cold War,” said the military leader, speaking a week after taking over from General Sir Nick Carter.

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Former Chief of the Defense Staff, General Sir Nick Carter

“Life expectancy has increased. Extreme poverty is on the decline. More girls and women are in school. More people are living in democracies than ever before. And yet our security outlook is far more complex and dangerous than at any time in the past 30 years. “

He also revealed his priorities as the chief of the armed forces, calling a persistent shortage of women in the defense “deplorable” – and searched officers who were found guilty of manipulating military spending for their benefit. , for example by wrongly claiming school. costs.

“It’s not about awakening. It’s about sadness, ”Admiral Radakin said.

“The sadness of too few women. The sadness of not reflecting the ethnic, religious and cognitive diversity of our nation. And the sadness of not following our own values, whether it’s mutual respect or the simple integrity of claiming expenses.

“It affects our culture, our fighting power, our prowess. And it’s not an ‘army thing’ or a ‘navy thing’. It is a challenge for the entire defense. “

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