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UK general admits military 'couldn't fight Russia for more than a couple of months'

by Nate Ostiller March 27, 2024 12:51 PM 2 min read
Members of the U.K. armed forces training at Bemowo Piskie Training Area, Poland, May 15, 2018. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
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U.K. General Rob Magowan admitted in a committee meeting on March 26 that the U.K.'s military "couldn't fight (Russia) for more than a couple of months because we don't have the ammunition and reserves of equipment to do it."

The striking admission was the latest warning from U.K. defense and military officials cautioning that the country is unprepared for armed conflict. Officials from other NATO countries have repeated similar concerns.  

The U.K.'s parliament released a bipartisan report in February 2024 that said the armed forces have yet to break the "vicious cycle" of equipment and manpower shortages that continue to hinder its preparation for a high-intensity war.

Magowan's acknowledgment on March 26 went even further as he responded to a direct question from lawmaker Mark Francois about the ability of the U.K. to fight Russia.

"We are not ready for an enduring war, do you accept that?" Francois asked, to which Magowan responded, "Yes, absolutely."

"We could not fight an enduring war against Russia, drop all these euphemisms about peer adversaries," Francois continued.

Magowan conceded that government spending on defense "does not meet, in all areas, the threats that we face."

At the same time, U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said that a situation in which the U.K. would fight Russia alone is unlikely.

"For people watching, and hearing that the U.K. isn't ready for war exclusively with Russia, it’s important to understand that because we are in NATO and Article 5 (mutual defense clause) exists, (so) we would never be in that situation."

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