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Ex-Army Chief Warns of ‘New Axis Powers’, Urges NATO to Strengthen Forces Against Greater Threat than Nazis

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Former military leader cautions of a World War III threat, labeling a 'new axis of evil' as more perilous than the Nazis

Ahead of NATO's 75th anniversary summit in Washington, General Sir Patrick Sanders urges alliance members to prioritize rearmament to counter the emerging threat from what he refers to as the new axis of evil, comprising Russia, China, and Iran.

Political correspondent @NifS

Tuesday, July 9, 2024, 14:

A previous military leader has cautioned NATO members that the world is experiencing a period as perilous as any since 1945, urging them to increase their defense spending.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, the former chief of the general staff, expressed to The Times that Russia, China, and Iran constituted the modern "axis powers," warning that without decisive action, a third world war might erupt in the next five years.

Live Politics: Cameron Criticized for Claiming 'Greatest Achievement'

He stated, "They are more interconnected and more closely aligned than the initial axis powers," emphasizing that these nations represented a greater danger than the Nazis in 1939.

However, the defense analyst stated that the outcome of the conflict wasn’t inevitable if NATO countries, such as the UK, substantially enhanced their weaponry.

Stay informed with the most recent updates from the UK and globally by tuning into Sky News.

"According to Sir Patrick, the general consensus is that it could take Russia anywhere from five to 10 years to rebuild its economic strength to the level it was prior to the conflict in Ukraine."

"By taking proactive measures, addressing our current vulnerabilities, updating our military forces, and enhancing the resilience of our society and the UK, we can prevent future threats."

"Taking that action, the chance is small. Avoiding it, on the other hand, boosts the odds and emboldens Russia, China, and Iran."

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Military strength deemed insufficient

Addressing the capabilities of Britain's military, Sir Patrick indicated that the current strength of the armed forces is insufficient for undertaking major military actions similar to those of the 2003 invasion of southern Iraq or the Falklands War in 1982.

"Is it possible to assemble the two brigades that captured the Falklands? Absolutely," he confirmed.

"However, was it feasible to transport them? Did we have the capability and resources to establish and maintain such a task force? Certainly not."

The general declined to specify the current level of military inventory, but he mentioned to the newspaper that the number is startling enough to "raise eyebrows."

Learn more: Understanding the NATO Summit and the Prime Minister’s Attendance. Increase in assaults observed as Putin takes action ahead of NATO discussions. NATO appoints outspoken Putin opponent as its new leader.

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Conflict in Ukraine Dominates Discussions

This week, representatives from all 32 NATO countries are convening in Washington to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the formation of the alliance. Among them is the United Kingdom's newly appointed Prime Minister, Sir Keir Starmer, who has committed to reviewing the nation's defense strategies within his first year in office.

The ongoing conflict in Ukraine is expected to be the main focus, especially following a recent Russian strike on a pediatric hospital that resulted in the deaths of at least 31 individuals.

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