General Carter said that Russia could ‘initiate hostilities sooner than we expect’ and warned of their information warfare capabilities.

“Now, a vivid indication of the scale of their modernisation is clear from the three minute video clip I am now going to show you. This was run on Russian TV a couple of years ago. You don’t need to understand the Russian, just simply listen to the tone of the commentary. But the key point is that what you will see is all new stuff, and the 2017 State Armaments Plan shows that even more has followed since this. Now of course we have to accept that this is information warfare at its best, but I think you would agree it’s an eye-watering quantity of capability.”

Recently we reported that Russia appears to be at the forefront of information warfare in the modern age, utilising an array of organisations and strategies to spread disinformation to further national strategy but how are they doing it?

Every now and then we come across a report from one of the many Russian state broadcasters that have more than remarkable headlines revolving around military equipment and it seems fairly obvious that the piece has a clear agenda but why is this being done? They were false but the rumours had begun spilling into conventional news media. Numerous analysts and experts in intelligence point to Russia as the prime suspect, noting that preventing NATO expansion is a centrepiece of the foreign policy of the nation.

Even the UK Defence Journal has been contacted by various Russian based ‘news organisations’ looking for soundbites whenever we publish a story about an MoD blunder or questionable government decision.

“Now, the other part of the threat is how one assesses intent. Now I am not in any way going to suggest that Russia wants to go to war in the traditional definition of the term, but there are factors that bear on the question of intent and one needs to understand Russian psyche, their culture and their philosophy of pre-emption.

Russia, I think, could initiate hostilities sooner than we expect, and a lot earlier than we would in similar circumstances. Most likely they will use nefarious sub-NATO Article 5 Treaty actions to erode the capability of NATO and threaten the very structure that provides our own defence and security. This is the divide and rule which the international order is designed to prevent.”

General Carter also said when it comes to threats, it is important to recognise that “readiness is about speed of recognition, speed of decision-making and speed of assembly.”

He said the Army is testing the ability to deploy over land by using road and rail, but that it is “also important to stress the need for a forward mounting base.”

“Therefore we are actively examining the retention of our infrastructure in Germany, where we store our vehicles in Ayrshire Barracks in Rheindahlen, and our training facilities in Sennelager, as well as our heavy equipment transporters that are based there, and our stockpiling and ammunition storage,” he revealed.


  1. Putin is a smart version of Mussolini he is not a Hitler. The idea that he would attack a NATO country is ridiculous. He has and will attack Georgia or Ukraine specifically because they are not NATO members. So what’s going on with Carter ? It’s simple it’s what the brass do when ever they see the trough almost empty. First grab the nearest Battalions, Sqds or ships and threaten to get rid unless we refill the trough. Second big up whatever threat is making headlines at the time. The money he wants will end up in the same place it always ends up. In the pockets of an officer corps that in the majority spends it’s career in an air con office with nothing to do but fiddle their expenses and book their next skiing holiday. The only times they leave are when they fly to the newest conflict zone where they spend just enough time at a cushy rear echelon baser to qualify for a campaign medal and then catch the first plane home.

    • David – How wonderfully succinct and sadly true that comment was. MoD in Whitehall seems to grow exponentially while boots on the ground, on deck and in aircraft are thinning out fast. Too damn fast. The ratios of ‘other ranks’ to ‘Senior ranks’ has gone pear shaped and needs correcting. Lower and middle Officer ranks are self defining like Squadron Leader or Wing Commander or ship’s Captain etc. The internal politicking that so damages our way forward is above those hard working and often hugely frustrated Officers. How many admirals do we need for the smallest Royal Navy since WWII? How many did we have when we added huge numbers of ships to an already large Navy in WWII?

      That isn’t to say that maybe we do only need a small Navy in the 21st Century. I am no expert but we need to staff down to what is needed not staff up to keep a career path for those who no longer go to sea. Same argument applies to the Army and Air Force.

    • Only Putin can be absolutely sure one way or the other. Best to be 100% sure before weakening a deterent. Putin will be 100% sure Nato will not be engaging in an unprovoked attack on Russia so why waste too much money on beafed up military if his intentions are good – much better to scale down Russian military, cooperate at the UN and share the profits of world peace. Hitler took advantage of countries convinced there could never be another war. Don’t under-estimate Putin he is trying to devide the West to gain an advantage. If he wins that battle ….

      • Davis Steeper, why would a well-versed gentleman issue such warning, if he and others weren’t sure that something was afoot? Let’s face it, he’s in a far better position than we amateurs in making these facts known. The Retension of assets in Germany is the very least the UK can do, to ensure we maintain a military foothold in Europe.

  2. Russia have always been oldskool bullies and will take advantage of any weakness they find.
    You just got to look at the RT news website, which always has aggressive headlines against the west or just belittlement against the west which the UK gets it fair share with all these cuts.
    Russia is dangerouse because there economy relies mainly on gas and oil when that declines so will
    Russia and Putin knows it.
    The Artic will be the next fighting ground.

  3. Not sure CGS framing the MoD budget debate around Russian land threat was wise.

    Too easy to push back as Russia won’t be invading a NATO country any time soon. Which isn’t to say they aren’t a threat or the budget is ok as it is.

    As Dave12 says about the arctic, the threat is diverse, the biggest of which IMO is lead time on core equipment, especially but not limited to navy ships and subs.

    China, not (yet) a threat is building a RN every three years and already has six times the number of subs we do. Most are currently diesel but their SSNs are soon going to be rolling off their new super sub super factory.

  4. Meanwhile the government announce they will set up a military controlled task force to censor news media.

    They don’t do that in Russia.

    What do they say about about incompetent tyrannies?
    They always look to an outside threat to distract from domestic failure.
    On thing the establishment isn’t is self aware.

  5. I know this probably wont happen but the UK needs more tanks, planes, ships and personnel. We have the quality we just need the quantity. If the UK, France and Germany all agree to massively increase their military it wont cause war, but instead it will deter war as Putin will not be stupid enough to go up against three powerful nations with the US as allies.

  6. See it from the Russian point of view.

    Aggressive American militarism, armed forces on Russia’s borders, US military bases around the globe and an American military budget nearly nine times larger that Russia’s.

    Then think about where the real problem is.

    • Nice try TH ruskie but its Russia who Have been more aggressive in Europe, invading the ukraine because it decided going west was a better option and russia does not help its self in supporting assads gas attacks ,hacking,spreading mis-infomation,shooting down MH17.
      Russia brings it on its self and denying everything even when proven guilty my work with your brainwashed russian masses (Russian state media) but not in the west.
      Putin just wants payback for losing the cold war and you just have to look at RT headlines to know Russia is desperate to get one over the yanks.

      • All true David.

        Who a decade ago would have thought that in the next decade Russia would have invaded and annexed the territories of not 1, but 2 European nations and shoot down a civilian airliner.

        The important thing is that TH has never voted for Labour, but parrot’s the Corbynista line by some remarkable coincidence.

      • Didnt the EU and US support the overthrow of the democratically elected (Russian leaning) Ukrainian government using Neo-Nazi militias ? As for Assad’s supposed use of chemical weapons AFTER the tide of the war had changed and the Americans were looking for excuse to intervene by attacking the Syrian army…….pull the other one, it has bells on it.

        • No the EU and US did not overthrow a so called democratically elected government. The Ukrainians gained independence from Moscow a couple of years after its neighbour Poland did. At the time their economies were almost similar with Poland’s GDP being a little higher.However in 2004 Poland joined the EU and it’s GDP has more than doubled since then, The Ukraine’s GDP has remained stagnant. The Ukrainians simply wanted what their neighbours next door in Poland had achieved and saw their savour in the Ukraine–European Union Association Agreement which would have improved their lot. The Moscow leaning president Viktor Yanukovych despite a long history of seeing the Ukraine getting stiffed by Russia usually by increasing the price of natural gas in winter and then cutting off supplies when they couldn’t pay scrapped that deal and went 200 % with a deal with Moscow. The people in the poorest country in Europe didn’t want more Moscow, they simply wanted to improve their lot and so they turfed him out.
          Yes there are right wing groups within the Ukraine, just as there is in the east of the country under Russian countrol. But that doesn’t add up to the removal of Yanukovych as due to Nazis funded by the US.
          Then there is the historical element old mother Russia has always held hegemony over its neighbours, they have had enough , which is why it’s later vessel states Eastern Europe ( Poland /Bulgaria/ Hungary and the Baltic states). Hate Russia with a vengeance, The Ukraine is simply following suit , problem is Moscow like a spurned fish wife is making sure she makes the Ukraine pay.
          If we want to blame anybody then look at the EU, but they never offered membership, rather they only offorded trading rights, but in doing so, the Ukraine would have to reform itself to EU law and standards.

  7. Here we go from my room right in the heart of the Kremlin then:

    In Crimea the majority of people were ethnic Russians who sought protection from the ultra-nationalists who had unconstitutionally seized power in Kiev. This was provided by the 20,000 Russian troops who were legally stationed there. This was quickly ratified in a vote by the Crimeans to join the Russian Federation and was accomplished with very little violence in comparison to Kiev. Hardly an “annexation”.

    To describe Russia as the aggressor in the 21st century is to stand logic on its head. American and Nato bases (including nuclear capabilities) have been encircling and creeping ever closer to Moscow since the collapse of communism. Putin is popular at home precisely because he assertively defends the interests of the Russian Federation from what their people see as very threatening developments.

    In the bloody morass of Syria, Russia are the only military who have been invited by the unpleasant but legitimate Assad government. This is in contrast to the other parties who fund and supply the various (and often more unpleasant) mercenary and partisan factions in an attempt to bring Assad down.

    I do not imagine the destitute and ruined peoples Iraq and Libya would describe the process of forcible regime change as the lesser evil compared to annexation.

    • Sorry lads, but I have to say for the first time I agree with TH.

      The hypocrisy of the west when it comes to Russia is laughable.

      They are rightly paranoid ever since Germany almost caught them with their pants down in June 41 with Barbarossa and, as TH rightly says, have been encircled by the USA and NATO ever since.

      • I agree with the logic but not totally because you overlook that Russia has been struggling to comes to terms with the loss of being the worlds second superpower. They are suffering in their own way as we did post empire. It is hard to come to terms with a loss of power and influence over a large part of the globe. They lost the cold war, have a shrinking population and a weak economy. Whilst I have some sympathy and there has been a move east by the EU and NATO. Lets be honest the US and UK have scaled back their presence in Europe and you only have to look at the GDP spend of most European NATO countries to realize their is no threat to Russia unless you suffer from some kind of paranoia. Putin and Russia are suffering a dose of small man/nation syndrome. Are they are a risk yes but they can be deterred by showing some resolve and rebuffing their cyber warfare attacks, which seems to be their weapon of choice.

      • Actually the increase in Russian military spending is more to do with the rise in power of China than with NATO. Howeever unlike the West, China will not allow itself to lose face, which is why Moscow attributes its military revamp as against NATO.
        Some will think that Russia and China get on well, they don’t and Moscow knows that Beijing doesn’t mess about. a perfect example of this can be seen in the Chinese Vietnam war in 1979, to all accounts the Chinese did badly, the fact remains they sent in second rate troops in which to draw the Russians in, their best troops ( All 1.5 Million of them) were on the border with Russia ready to go, thankfully Moscow didn’t take the bait.

        Putin is good at both Judo and Chess, and he knows not to show his hand

    • Russias only interest in syria is to keep its naval base there open and to also trial its weapons.
      Oh russia is sooooo innocent! lol Putin has turned Russia into a dictatorshiP. Russia has been interfering in ukraine politics way before ukraine went with the right side ,,even poisioning a ukraine leader who was against russia earliar.
      I know you get your RT ards paid buddies on here to agree with you lol! with there fake anglo saxon names but you are not fooling any body. Putin is playing the HITLER game and you should be ashamed,,,,,, plus Russia never mentions the millions who died in the Gulag,,,Numpty!

    • Hard to have a nuanced view on Russia without being accused of supporting the enemy.

      All the accusations and counter arguments in this thread are broadly true.

      What is aggressive action and what is reaction is the Q for me. Are we self aware – I think not so much.

      On the international stage much is reaction and trying to be balanced I think (broadly) not much different from how America or UK would have/has reacted.

      It should also be noted that Russia is now as far from communism as it’s possible to be.

      It’s now a conservative, capitalist, christian orthodox, nationalist kleptocracy with Putin as The Don.

      Putin controls state media, police, judicial system, information wars, world class off balance sheet cyber and they accept responsibility for nothing – such as downing of airliner – and accept the use of chemical weapons in Syria etc (if anyone has the time, read The Dead Hand, amazing read and Russia still behaves that way e.g. Olympic doping)

      Like under the USSR, they are potentially dangerous because they are playing a different game to us with different rules – but its not communism.

    • Utter tosh, states which lived under the Russian jackboot and it’s totalitarian ideology never want to be bullied by Moscow again, that is why all the former Warsaw Pact countries joined NATO after Moscow sent in the troops into Chetnaya in 2 separate wars. followed by the war with Georgia.

      As for Syria, the Russians not hampered by human rights simply waged total war which is why they have made huge inroads against the rebels/terrorists. It’s one thing to take out a terrorist weapons system with a PGM, it’s another to wipe out a town doing so. However in doing so, they have brought peace to a vast areas of Syria which only last year were Jihadist love zones. The problem we have in the West is Lilly white dogooders still subscribe to this notion that those who behead those who don’t believe can only be seen as followers of a religion of peace and so any attempt to take them out is deemed a human rights crime. But that is another subject for another day.

  8. You do have to remember the Russian view in this and separate the old communist ideologies and drives that are dead and gone from the purely Russian ones.
    They also suffered an extreme national trauma not that long ago. They still have a deep misstrust of central europe. One hold over from the communist decades is a continuation of a mistrust of the US.

    So within this they have a world view that a safe Russia is a Russia surrounded by states that are proven as friendly and that nations that look to the Central Europe (now read the EU) or the US ( read NATO) is a threat, if that nation is close to its boarder that represents an existential threat and therefore needs to be managed.

    The tone of Russian media is not a game being played by putin, it actually represents the real fear of agression from western and Central Europe as we have have expanded our influence into Eastern Europe without first bringing Russian into the fold. We effectively ( and I mean the EU and NATO )acted like victors when the Cold War ended lossing the chance to gain a long term change to the world order.

    So yes actually at present I agree with him we are heading for a conflict with Russia some time soon, unless our leaders ( NATO and EU) pull a blinder in diplomacy.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here