British Chief of General Staff Prepares for War against Russia
The Chief of the British Army’s General Staff, Gen. Sir Patrick Sanders, delivered on June 28 his first public speech since taking office, which was characterized by Italian Gen. (ret) Fabio Mini as “a declaration of war against Russia”. Sanders’ concepts are not new, but confirm that the British Empire’s strategy will not change despite the ousting of Boris Johnson.
Speaking to the Royal United Services Institute’s Land Warfare Conference, Sanders characterized this moment in history as Britain’s 1937 moment, a time when Brigadier Bernard Montgomery wrote that “We have got to develop new methods, and learn a new technique…”, as opposed to doing things because they had always been done that way.
“This is our 1937 moment”, Sanders went on. “We are not at war — but we must act rapidly so that we aren’t drawn into one through a failure to contain territorial expansion.” He went on to announce how he intends to “mobilise the British Army… to deter Russian aggression”. “To succeed, the British Army, in conjunction with our NATO allies and partners, must be in-place or at especially high readiness – ideally a mix of both. Tripwires aren’t enough. If we fail to deter, there are no good choices given the cost of a potential counterattack and the associated nuclear threat. We must, therefore, meet strength with strength from the outset and be unequivocally prepared to fight for NATO territory….
“Deterring Russia means more of the Army ready more of the time, and ready for high-intensity war in Europe. So we will pick up the pace of combined arms training, and major urban combat. We will re-build our stockpiles and review the deployability of our vehicle fleet. https://www.army.mod.uk/news-and-events/news/2022/06/rusi-land-warfare-conference-cgs-speech/
In a long analysis of Sanders’ speech published in the July 1 daily Il Fatto, entitled “First Ukraine, then Europe: NATO ready for the big war”, Gen. Mini, a former KFOR commander, wrote that although Sanders claims he is not proposing to launch a war but merely to be ready to fight a defensive one, his “assumptions nullify his hope that the war one should prepare for will not be fought.” In sum, Sanders is the first military chief of the major NATO powers to pronounce a “declaration of war”, in Mini’s view. His call for a mobilisation against Russia will either lead to “an open U.S./NATO-Russia conflict” or to a new “armored wall between Europe and Russia”.
And what will happen to Ukraine, Gen. Mini asks. “In Sanders’ vision, it seems destined to be rebuilt as a base for advanced NATO forces in Europe, fully militarized, with political leadership in camouflage and constant videoconferencing, with infra-specialized facilities for military attack like a big North Korea…. Britain will finally be able to re-deploy its entire army in Europe as has already happened with the British Army of the Rhine in Germany, which will be able to call itself the British Army of the Dnepr. Poland and Germany will be able to move their bases forward and France back to Germany.”