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Britain 'would be ready for war against Russia in two years'

Britain 'would be ready for war against Russia in two years'

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon says Nato 'is waking up to the challenge of Kremlin aggression and could confront Vladimir Putin's forces in a showdown

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon
Britain would be able to fight a war against Russia within two years, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon declared today.
Nato ‘is waking up to the challenge’ of rising Kremlin aggression , the Tory Minister told MPs.
And the alliance would be ready to confront Vladimir Putin ’s forces in a showdown, he insisted.
The battle fleet was heading to the Mediterranean to launch fresh bombing raids on Syria to support Putin’s ally, President Bashar al-Assad .
The Cabinet Minister pointed to the rising threat from Moscow, with Russian bombers ‘buzzing’ British air defences , Kremlin submarines lurking off the UK coast and Putin’s forces accused of fighting in Syria.
“We have seen much greater Russian aggression this year, and in previous years, in terms of long-range aviation, in terms of submarine activity, and the carrier task group that sailed through our waters, the role of Russia in Syria and elsewhere,” he told the Defence Select Committee.

Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov recently made its way to assist the Syria's Assad regime
Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov is seen during the Navy Day Military parade July, 27, 2014 in Severomorsk. Putin is having a visit to Northern Fleet main naval base of Severomorsk. 
Asked if Britain would have the Army capability for any war with Russia in 2018, or 2019, Sir Michael said: “Yes, we would be ready to increase the tempo in that kind of situation, which I don’t immediately foresee.
“And, of course, we will not be doing this on our own.
“We will be doing this as an active member of Nato, and presumably in some kind of Nato scenario.”
It was ‘too extreme’ to claim that ‘war with Russia is likely next year’, he added.
Sir Michael hoped sending 800 British troops to Estonia would deter aggression in Baltic states that were part of the Soviet Union.
“The whole point of forward deployment to Estonia is to arrange ... an earlier tripwire so the force there doesn’t have to wait for tension to escalate,” he told MPs.
“The force will be there from next spring in any event, in all three of the Baltic states.
“It’s partly reassurance, but it’s also deterrence - to make it very clear to any potential aggressor that Nato is ready to respond.”
800 British troops will be deployed in all three of the Balkan states from spring 
Meanwhile, Chancellor Philip Hammond warned that ‘rogue states’ were trying to target UK infrastructure such as power grids and air traffic control.
His comments came after MI5 director general Andrew Parker warned that Russia ‘is using its whole range of state organs and powers to push its foreign policy abroad in increasingly aggressive ways - involving propaganda, espionage, subversion and cyber-attacks’.
Without naming Russia, the Chancellor highlighted attacks on French broadcaster TV5 Monde and Ukraine’s power grid - both of which security experts have suggested were carried out by Moscow-backed hackers.
“We will not only defend ourselves in cyberspace, we will strike back in kind when we are attacked.”

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