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Army chief in warning to military

By Gavin Cordon

Enemies may seek to take advantage of Britain's reluctance to embark on new military operations after a decade of campaigning in Iraq and Afghanistan, the head of the Army has warned.

General Sir Peter Wall, the Chief of the General Staff, said that a sense of "moral disarmament" by a war-weary West may already be influencing calculations of other countries.

He warned the potential for "force-on-force engagements" between nation states – seen by some politicians and analysts as "a thing of the past" – could not be ruled out and could come about "sooner than we think".

In a speech to the Chatham House foreign affairs think-tank, General Wall highlighted the recent Russian incursion into Crimea as "a situation we did not foresee", which was "confounding our previous assumptions about stability".

His intervention comes after the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nicholas Houghton last year warned of a "creeping aversion to risk" when it came to deploying UK military force.

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