The British newspaper The Times, citing the commander of the ground forces, Lieutenant General Ralph Wooddiss, announced plans to deploy an armored brigade in Germany. Allegedly, in order to contain “aggressive Russia”. Earlier in London, it was reported about the readiness to transfer 600 paratroopers to protect Ukraine from the same Russia. MK experts assessed the “British threat”.
Deputy Director of the Center for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) Maxim Shepovalenko told MK what caused the redeployment of British troops.
– In fact, this is the beginning of the transformation of the British army. In the spring they adopted a new military doctrine. In the development of this doctrine, as it was stated, they are forming smaller, but more maneuverable ground forces, ready to conduct expeditions. There will be about four 4 divisions, as well as three military hubs – in Germany, Kenya and Oman.
They do not hide the fact that expeditionary formations will be deployed in these bases if it is necessary to confront the threat emanating from China or Russia, which are named as opponents. That is, the troops are moving closer to the zones of potential collision.
As for Germany, they want to deploy 250 armored vehicles across the English Channel. This is approximately one armored brigade of up to 5,000 men.
The brigade will be stationed at an old British base in the Paderborn area. The consistency of London is evidenced, for example, by the fact that the UK last year reduced its military presence in Germany. And then a year later – a 180-degree turn. Previously, there was a 20,000-strong group of British troops. It was cut, and now it is being turned back.
In principle, there is nothing unusual or terrible for us in this. I don’t see anything wrong. Let me remind you that the British are reducing their armed forces from 82 thousand to 73 thousand. At the same time, 33 military facilities will be closed on the territory of Great Britain itself. It is believed that since the Napoleonic Wars, there has been no smaller British army.
– What is the purpose of the reform?
– It was announced that the goal of the reform is so that the army can do more with a smaller composition. The British have many obligations under bilateral treaties with other countries, with the same Ukraine, for example, and also before NATO. They are involved in everything, they provide security everywhere. But I have big doubts that they will be able to fulfill these obligations, and that they will be able to carry out all these tasks with a smaller number of troops.
Nobody seems to care about the results. The main thing is to promise, according to the principle: do not be silent, say something. It is not a fact that the British will be able to designate their global presence in the world, countering the threats from China and Russia, as London says.
A well-known military expert, member of the Public Council under the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation Ruslan Pukhov partly agrees with this opinion:
– The British army and navy have already been so reduced that all sorts of bellicose statements, for example, that Great Britain will help Ukraine in the event of a war with Russia, bring a smile to all specialists who are seriously involved in this. This is ridiculous.
– Then why make such statements?
– After leaving the European Union, Britain is rapidly losing its influence in Europe and the world. There are many problems in the country related to the coronavirus, the economy, and migrants. Why not scare your subjects in such a situation that Russia is about to attack someone there? A win-win to distract from real problems.
On the other hand, verbal threats are an element of pressure on Moscow, a way to force Russia into dialogue. But, I repeat, it is clear to military experts that British threats are pure bluff.