Vladmir Putin watched with glee the failure in Afghanistan and thinks the ‘West’ is weak with no stomach for confrontation…and our military are not capable of what our nation expects, writes former First Sea Lord ADMIRAL LORD WEST of Spithead
It is hardly surprising that Vladmir Putin thought he could get away with his invasion.
He thinks the ‘West’ is weak and has no stomach for confrontation.
He has watched with glee from his Moscow bunker the failure in Afghanistan, the steady erosion of Europe’s military capability and its reliance on Russian oil and gas.
The British military and Europe’s forces are in a parlous state with insufficient numbers and unsuitable armoured and soft skinned vehicle fleet.
What is certain is that Putin is well aware of our ever diminishing armed forces. He believes the West has lost the will to fight and that in no small measure has emboldened him to take the risks.
Politicians don’t realise that dictators respect power and notice what nations do to their fighting forces and they have steadily over many years cut and cut our military.
Certainly, when one looks at the pathetic overall level of European defence spending it is not surprising that Putin takes heart.
Children at a school in the Ukraine practicing going into a bunker in the event of a Russian attack
The image mirrors photos from the fall of Kabul which saw desperate Afghans hand their babies to American soldiers
Putin clearly intended to invade Ukraine, as was well flagged up by our exceptional intelligence services. What he was doing was weighing up what was the cost/pain of taking that action.
I am afraid that what was a very disjointed set of hollow threats from the allies and the rather pathetic measures after his first incursion led him to believe it was worth it.
We now have a much more co-ordinated and effective set of sanctions but still no mention of enhancement of our armed forces.
Strangely with all the talk of war the only thing our politicians don’t seem to mention or pay regard to is the size and composition of our armed forces and whether they need enhancement.
Former First Sea Lord Admiral Lord West of Spithead has hit out at the West
I should not be surprised because successive governments have cut our armed forces normally claiming it was to make them more efficient but in reality making savings.
A growing number of ex-military and other expert commentators have become concerned that cuts have gone too far. I am on record as saying that our military are not capable of what our nation expects.
It is only fair to say that the Mail has been concerned about the steady reduction in our forces.
To identify just a few of the shortfalls it is a national disgrace that a great maritime nation, and we still are, only has 12 frigates.
The RN also only has 6 destroyers but none are capable of fighting in a major war until modifications are made.
The airforce needs extra F35Bs as a matter of urgency.
We have known this work was needed for some 12 years but it is still not completed and is symptomatic of lack of will and funding.