The retired general of the British Army described the British military as “inadequate for the purpose” and warned that North Korea might be able to hit London with a nuclear missile “in the next 12 to 18 months.”
General Sir Richard Baroness, until recently one of the country’s top military chiefs, told the Defense Committee of the Defense Committee that Britain would fight to defend itself if it attacked and all attempts to reduce the size of Royal Marines would be “stupid” .
“Obviously there exist existential threats to our country and they come in many forms,” he said in an inter-party group of MPs.
“They come in the form of Daeshe (Islamic State) who, if they can, will find weapons of mass destruction and apply them in the UK.
“We are locked in everyday confrontation with Russia,” the prime minister said yesterday.
“We see North Korea, which in the next 12 to 18 months will make a nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach London and we can not cope with it.”
He added: “We are now living in a time when people who are not on our side have the capability they could, I’m not saying they will, but could bring it to the homeland of the UK for a short time that we can not handle. ”
Sir Richard had a long career in the Army, which included tours to Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
As commander of the command of the joint forces, he was responsible for all three armed services. He retired only last year, something that made his comments even more relevant and pointed out.
He said: “The people who are defending … they will never say publicly, either for themselves or their enemy, or for their allies, that we are broken, but when they fly, sail or deploy on the ground and they see it their equipment, see their sustainability and see their shortcomings in training and see their allies, they know they are not suitable for the purpose. ”
General Barony delivered evidence to the Defense Board during a session on the current national security review. The review should be announced next year and is likely to result in more cuts in the armed forces.
Warning that the British military is “close to breaking,” the retired general said that if the government did not provide more money “it would fall.”
He added: “The first discussion in the government should be” how many risks are we working in the world and what do we need to do to fix it? ”
“They do not seem to want to have that discussion and thus end up with the risk of ridiculous discussion of zero sums, both in service … and between services, which ultimately end up with a navy that is structurally underfunded, air force which together hold very good equipment, but really on the verge of their capacity for engineering and support and an army that now widely speaks of 20 years of obsolescence. ”