Chatham House
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Britain must rearm to strengthen NATO and meet threats beyond Russia and terrorism


As NATO celebrates its 75th anniversary, the UK must overcome its capability gaps to boost the alliance’s deterrence power and account for threats like China.

In January 2024 the head of the British Army, General Sir Patrick Sanders, queried whether the world is at a 1938 moment

He is not alone in making such linkages to the past or raising questions about the state of Britain’s armed forces today. Grant Shapps, Britain’s Defence Secretary, echoed his sentiments in a speech shortly afterwards. A month later, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, Chief of the Defence Staff, appeared to play down the issue.

Both Sanders and Shapps called for a significant increase in defence spending. Others have called on the British government to bring forward its commitment to increase defence spending to 2.5 per cent of GDP immediately.

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