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Russia now UK's biggest threat, says Defence chief

By Helen William

Russia is now "probably the most complex and capable state-based threat to our way of life since the end of the Cold War," Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Carter has said.

They have "a ruthless focus on defeating their opponents" and keenly study other nations' vulnerabilities.

He did not pull any punches regarding Russia and China in his first major speech as Chief of the Defence Staff after four weeks in post.

He also told the Air Power Conference in London that "new ways are needed to try and find answers for future unforeseeable threats and there is a need to change the way people think, act, acquire equipment, take command and lead".

He said that "a strategic response" is needed as the things which now count as weapons in the modern-day world "no longer have to bang".

Energy, cash, corrupt business practices, cyber, assassination, fake news and good old fashioned military intimidation are all weapons used to gain advantage.

Of Russia's impact, he said: "They have no single model for conflict.

"They use a multi-model approach utilising conventional, unconventional and nuclear domains - a hybrid version that might involve little green men, big green tanks and huge green missiles."

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