Putin will be a significant threat to other countries if he wins in Ukraine, warns former Army Chief

Putin will be a significant threat to other countries if he wins in Ukraine, warns former Army Chief
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 23/04/2024

- 15:47

General Lord Dannatt claimed that we need to be spending more money on defence

General Lord Dannatt, the former head of the Army, has warned that Vladimir Putin will pose a significant threat to other countries if he wins the war in Ukraine.

Asked if Putin is a threat, he told GB News: “Most definitely he is. That's why supporting Ukraine, for the Ukrainians to blunt Putin and Russia's aggression is really, really important.

“You can't believe a thing that Putin says about not having any further intentions. I was in Lithuania two or three weeks ago, where I can tell you all those around the Baltic are extraordinarily worried about further aggression from Putin.”

He said a new package of military aid from the UK was important and a vital contribution towards security in Europe.

“Supporting Ukraine and this package is really, really important. It's an important package but of course it's a small package in comparison to the very large package that the US Congress is passing.

“But to put all that together, this is important support to Ukraine and that is vital in our European interests.

“We need to increase US defence spending overall, not just to support Ukraine, which as I've already said is very, very important, but also to make sure that the United Kingdom's armed forces are at a sufficient level of capability that we can play our role a significant role a major role within NATO in Europe to deter further Russian aggression.”

On why he has said the UK is in the “last chance saloon” militarily, he said: “The last chance saloon is the place where we don't want to be for too long. We can get out of the last chance saloon if we increase our defence expenditure.

“Jeremy Hunt in the spring budget talked about going to 2.5% of GDP when conditions allow, Keir Starmer and the Labour Party have said the same and that's a start, but it's only a start.

“There's a strong case to say that we should be increasing from 2.2% to 2.5 to 3%. Now that would be a significant increase in our defence budget, to give us the aircraft, the ships, and particularly the land forces that we lack at the present moment so that we can make a real contribution to deterring war.

“This is the whole point. We don't want to be in the business of fighting a war. The cost of that is disastrous…looking back to the 1930s, in 1935 we spent less than 3% of GDP on defence and that didn't stop Hitler.

“By 1939, it was 18% and in 1940 it was 46%. That's the disastrous cost of fighting a war. What we need to do is pay the premium to determine war, and we're currently not paying it.”


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