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Britain 'not ready for all-out war' according to MPs as stockpiles below what is needed to repel Russian threat
3 February 2024, 22:58
Britain is too weak to fight an all out war, MPs have claimed in a shocking new intervention.
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The UK's weapons stockpiles are running well below the level needed to counter attacks from Russia, a group of MPs has claimed.
The Government risk being unable to build true war fighting and strategic readiness because of the sheer pace of operations, which could threaten the security of the UK.
Defence experts are claiming that UK troops are not ready for battle because they are not getting the necessary training.
A report by the defence select committee has called for urgent action in order to counter shortages in munitions and underwhelming recruitment.
The intervention comes after reports that the British military is drawing up plans to build up a 500,000-strong 'citizen army' in the event of the UK going to war with Russia.
General Sir Patrick Sanders, chief of the general staff, said in a speech last month that civilians will need training and equipping if Britain goes to war.
Sir Patrick has suggested the Army should have a larger army of 120,000 within three years, which should include regular soldiers, reserves and former military personnel who could be called upon, The Times reports.
But this would not be enough to win a war, he stressed, which are 'started by armies and won by civilians'.
He urged the Government to start thinking about how it would mobilise the nation in the event of war breaking out.
Around half a million people in total would be needed, according to his estimations.
“We need an army designed to expand rapidly to enable the first echelon, resource the second echelon, and train and equip the citizen army that must follow," Sir Patrick said on Wednesday.
He went on: “We cannot afford to make the same mistake today.”
“We will not be immune and as the pre-war generation we must similarly prepare — and that is a whole-of-nation undertaking.
“Ukraine brutally illustrates that regular armies start wars; citizen armies win them. But we’ve been here before, and workforce alone does not create capability.”
The General's comments have sparked a debate about whether conscription could ever be brought into force in the UK.
The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was forced to bat down any suggestion this would happen.
When asked about whether Mr Sunak could rule out conscription in future circumstances, his official spokesman insisted the service would remain voluntary moving forward.
“There is no suggestion of that," the spokesman said.
“The government has no intention to follow through with that.
"The British military has a proud tradition of being a voluntary force. There are no plans to change that."
He added that "hypothetical scenarios" being presented over future conflicts were "not helpful".
Meanwhile, war hero Ben McBean, who lost an arm and a leg in Afghanistan, has said Brits would need to be dragged 'kicking and screaming' if called up to fight against Russia.
Conscription was labelled as "stupid" by McBean, who served in the Royal Marines.
He told The Sun: "It's not the same as back in the day, people aren't as patriotic.
"That mentality is gone and it is going to be hard to get it back. You would have to drag people in kicking and screaming to get them to conscript."