To stave off a potential Russian invasion, the UK would need “10 years warning,” admits top general
By Ethan Huff // Mar 30, 2023

Great Britain's military is in such bad shape that it would take "five to 10 years," according to a former top general, for the country to build up the resistance it would need to ward off a potential invasion by Russia.

General Sir Richard Barrons, who served as commander of the Joint Forces Command (JFC) – JFC has since been renamed to Strategic Command (StratCom) – from 2013 until his retirement in 2016, had a few choice words to say to the United Kingdom's poor leadership about the matter.

"During the Cold War, the Army, at all times, was ready to fight at four hours' notice," Barrons told the media about how the UK used to be in terms of it defenses. "When the Cold War ended and there was no sense of existential risk to the UK, all of that was dismantled."

"Now we would need five to 10 years' notice of a Russian surprise attack to manage to deal with it. That's not a cool place to be ... It's deeply disappointing."

(Related: Last fall, we reported that British spies have been busy secretly building a "terror army" in Ukraine.)

The UK would run out of ammo in just one day, were Russia to invade

Currently, the armed forces of the UK have just 137,000 active military personnel, 5,015 armored vehicles, and 227 tanks. Compare this to the Russian Federation, which has nearly a million-and-a-half soldiers, more than 30,000 armored vehicles, and approximately 12,500 tanks.

As for the two nations' naval assets, the British Royal Navy has just 70 vessels left in operation. Russia, conversely, has 605, or nearly nine times as many vessels.

Great Britain is no match, in other words, for Russia, the latter of which would easily trounce the monarchy and dash it to pieces, if it decided to do so, at a moment's notice.

"Russia is clearly angry and rearming so their capability will be restored and when the shooting stops in Ukraine, Russia will blame the outcome on us," the former commander further warned. "We are already in confrontation with Russia. Right now, we have chosen to do very little about it."

The UK only has enough ammo on hand to last about one day in the event that Russia invades. It would be an easy win for President Vladimir Putin, in other words.

Over the next two years, the government of UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is planning to spend an additional £5 billion (more than $6.17 billion) on the country's defense apparatus. This is well below the £11 billion (about $13.58 billion) that was requested by Defense Secretary Ben Wallace.

According to General Sir Richard, £5 billion is not nearly enough to reverse the planned cuts to the British army, which is expected to further decline in number by about 3,000, leaving just 73,000 troops in total.

Reports indicate that nearly all of that £5 billion in cash has already been assigned to pay for the upgrade of the UK's nuclear-armed submarines, as well as to restock the country's ammunition stores, which have been massively depleted due to arms shipments to Ukraine.

"It probably suggests the heart of government doesn't really get it," the former commander lamented. "The risks I and others see are not accepted by the prime minister and chancellor. They are content to spend our money on a whole range of other things and then worry about defense later."

"We're still working on the old model to sort out the NHS (National Health Service), migration, and potholes then, if we really must, we will keep defense bubbling along."

The latest news about the situation between Russia and the West can be found at

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