Boris Johnson is under pressure to increase defense spending to counter Russia’s threat


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is under pressure from senior ministers and military chiefs to increase defense spending in response to the new threat posed by Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

At the NATO summit in Madrid, the Prime Minister, calling for more investment in allies to modernize Europe’s defenses, is calling for further increases in Britain’s own defense spending. statement June 29, from 10 Downing Street.

Defense Minister Ben Wallace said on June 28 that Britain needs to increase its investment in defense before it’s too late.

Epoch Times Photo
Defense Minister Ben Wallace arrives to attend the weekly Cabinet Meeting in Downing Street on June 7, 2022. (Curl Coat / Getty Images)

In a speech at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the £ 24 billion ($ 29 billion) increase announced in the 2020 Spending Review was a “strong start,” but the post-Cold War government (conservatives). Both factions and workers) took advantage of the so-called “peace dividends”.

“When the threat from the state began to increase in the last few years, defenses have lived for too long with smoke and mirrors, hollowed-out formations, and a fantastic conservative diet.”

Mr Wallace said Russia is now “the most direct and imminent threat” and “there is a very real danger that Russia will overwhelm the wider Europe.”

“It’s time to show that the dividend of peace is over and we need to continue to expand our investment before it’s too late to address the lessons learned and the threat of resurrection in Ukraine,” he added. .. Ready and relevant. “

Army cut’Perverse’

Also at the event, General Patrick Sanders, the new head of the British Army, said further reductions in the size of the army would reduce the target from 82,000 to 72,500. “

The main opposition Labor Party also criticized military cuts.

Shadow Secretary of State for Defense John Healey said: As the threat grows and Russia’s threat rises, his ministers must restart their defense program and immediately stop military cuts. “

Downing Street defended the government’s record of defense funding, arguing that the benefits of new technologies and kits outweighed the reduction in the number of soldiers.

An official spokesman for the Prime Minister said: If you can see the impact of the latest technology, equipment, training, and intelligence, focus only on the numbers. “

PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan