'Vladimir Putin could start hostilities against the West ‘sooner than we expect’, the head of the Army has said.
Warning of Russia’s ‘eye-watering’ military capabilities, Sir Nick Carter laid bare the scale of the threat.
The Chief of the General Staff said the Kremlin was a ‘clear and present danger’ and predicted a conflict would start with something we did not expect.
‘They are not thousands of miles away, they are on Europe’s doorstep,’ he said in a speech at the Royal United Services Institute.
Britain’s ability to pre-empt or respond to the threat ‘will be eroded if we don’t match up to them now,’ he said, adding: ‘Russia could initiate hostilities sooner than we expect.’
Using the dire warning to make the case for more money for the armed forces, General Carter said:
Britain could scale back its military withdrawal from Germany to allow personnel to race to Eastern Europe if war breaks out;
Syria’s civil war was exploited by Moscow to get its troops combat-ready while testing long-range missiles and other equipment;
Russia’s conventional forces give it a ‘calculable military advantage’;
Hostile action would be hard to predict and the time to address the threats was now.
General Carter’s major speech came as experts issued their own warnings about the threat from Russia and the need for Britain to spend more on defence.'
Read more: Putin is a 'clear and present danger' to Britain (So give us more money): Head of the Army says Russia could launch surprise attack as he warns of 'eye-watering' military power that it is testing in the war in Syria