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Wallace praises Truss as UK ups military spending

Monday, September 26th 2022 - 18:56 UTC
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UK Defense Secretary Ben Wallace has announced that the government of Prime Minister Liz Truss intends to increase military spending up to to 3% of the country's Gross Domestic Product, per the Conservative leader's campaign promises, it was reported.

In an interview published in The Sunday Telegraph, Wallace explained that Truss will up increase defense spending by at least £52 billion (€58 billion) while enlarging its military for the first time since the Cold War, in response to Russia's deployment in Ukraine.

“One of her clear priorities as prime minister is that we are going to invest and spend the money,” she announced before explaining that this budget equated to £100 billion by 2030, an increase of £52 billion on the current sum. “The increase in spending on the armed forces to 3% by the end of the decade is a huge increase and contrasts with the trend since the 1990s,” he added.

“We may well grow the military, but they may not be the places your armchair generals want them to go, because what we desperately need is, for example, to invest in our intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities,” Wallace further explained.

The Minister said the UK needed to learn from the “lessons” of the war in Ukraine and be able to shoot down drones, because if not, “we will be vulnerable.”

“The reality is that we will work with the Treasury to ensure that we have a budget that grows to meet the threat and our ambitions.”

During her participation in the 77th UN General Assembly in New York last week, Truss pledged to increase military support to Ukraine, as long as necessary, until it achieves its victory over Russia. “At this crucial time, I am committed to maintaining and increasing our military support for Ukraine, however long it takes us to do so. We will not rest until Ukraine triumphs. This is a turning point in our history and in the history of freedom,” Truss warned.

The Prime Minister also condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin's call to mobilize 300,000 reservists. “Putin is trying to justify his catastrophic failure. He speaks of democracy when in his regime there are no Human Rights or freedom,” Truss said.

Wallace, who has been in the role since 2019, hailed Truss for granting a huge uplift in spending and lashed out at former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak for failing to release the funding needed to keep Britain safe.

”I think we are going to need a bigger Armed Forces to be more concurrent and more global,” Wallace insisted and praised new Sunak's successor Kwasi Kwarteng for “getting it,” while Sunak had even tried to “stipulate the size of the Army.”

“The reason I supported Liz Truss was that the risk we were prepared to tolerate in the middle of the decade are not risks I want to tolerate anymore in light of Russian aggression,” Wallace argued while insisting Britain’s annual defense budget needs to amount to £100 billion by 2030.

“My department has been so used to 30 or 40 years of defending against cuts or reconciling cuts with modern fighting, they’re going to have to get used to a completely different culture,” Wallace underlined.

According to Bloomberg, Truss reversed former PM Boris Johnson’s plans to slash the military by 9,500 personnel at a time when military strength is needed to “stand firm against coercion from authoritarian powers like Russia and China.”

Categories: Politics, International.

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