Meanwhile, British Army chief Gen. Patrick Sanders, added his voice to the war hysteria in Europe in a speech on Jan. 24, warning that the ongoing Russian “invasion” of Ukraine showed it was “citizen armies” that make the difference in conflicts. “Taking preparatory steps to enable placing our societies on a war footing when needed are now not merely desirable but essential,” Sanders said, reported CBS News. “Our friends in Eastern and Northern Europe, who feel the proximity of the Russian threat more acutely, are already acting prudently, laying the foundations for national mobilization.” His remarks, along with those of other senior defense officials, prompted a response from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s office ruling out any return to conscription, which the U.K. abolished in 1960.
And while the British government is lobbying the U.S. to keep the weapons flowing to Ukraine, the U.S. is telling the Brits they need a bigger military. U.S. Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said during a visit to London that more investment should be considered for the Royal Navy, and it may also be necessary to strengthen the Army. In a speech at the Royal United Services Institute yesterday, he expressed “tremendous respect for” the U.K. military, but commented: “I think it is important for the United Kingdom to reassess where they are today given the threats that exist today,” reported the Independent. While he said that it was entirely up to the British government to choose its own policies, “I would argue, quite frankly, that given the near-term, economic threats to the United Kingdom and the United States, that investments in their Navy are significantly important.”