Bill Etheridge, UKIP Defence spokesman, has called for substantial investment in the UK’s armed forces. His call echoes that of General Sir Richard Barrons, who told the BBC yesterday that UK and NATO defences are not up to the current threat from Russia.
Referring to Michael Fallon’s comments that the UK would be ready for a war with Russia in two years time, the former Commander of UK Joint Forces said that it would require "a massive escalation of planning and capability.” Sir Richard said NATO forces had been in a state of “progressive demobilisation” and were not ready to face “the kind of things Russia is now able to present".
Mr Etheridge, UKIP MEP for the West Midlands, said “One has to ask why a front line government minister is even talking about the prospect of going to war with Russia.
“The best way to avoid war is to maintain a suitable deterrent, both conventional and nuclear, so that neither side feels it has an advantage over the other.
“But the General’s comments tell us just how far UK defences have been weakened under both Tory and Labour governments.
“With the twin threats of Russia and Islamic fundamentalism, the world is at the most dangerous it has been since the end of the Cold war.
“What we need is substantial investment into our defence capabilities to counteract the last few decades of neglect.”