April 13, 2024

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Putin does not want war with NATO, and will lose quickly: British Army Commander

Putin does not want war with NATO, and will lose quickly: British Army Commander

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin in London in May 2023.
Andrew Milligan/Pool via AP

  • The commander of the British Armed Forces said that Russia does not want a conflict with NATO because it “will lose quickly.”
  • Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said Russia would be significantly outnumbered on land, air and sea.
  • But he said Russia still poses a danger and could launch attacks.

The Commander of the British Armed Forces said on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin does not really want a conflict with NATO, because in this scenario Russia will lose quickly.

Speaking at an event in London, Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said: “The inescapable reality is that any Russian attack or incursion against NATO will lead to an overwhelming response.”

“The biggest reason Putin doesn't want conflict with NATO is because Russia will lose. And it's losing fast,” he said.

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has raised new security concerns across Europe, prompting countries to spend more on defense and conclude more security agreements with each other.

Some leaders have warned that Russia may attack another European country in the next few years if it is not stopped in Ukraine.

Radakin, who was speaking at a defense conference at Chatham House in London, said the UK was “not on the cusp of war with Russia. We are not on the verge of being invaded.”

But he added, “This does not mean that we cannot confront attacks.”

“We already do this every day in the cyber domain,” he said. “We could launch indiscriminate attacks in space, on underwater cables, or try to violate our air and sea sovereignty. The most likely champion is Russia. We have been clear about that.”

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However, Radakin said Russia would be quickly defeated by NATO forces if it attacked a member state.

Under the military alliance agreements, an attack on one party is considered an attack on all. This means that if a member state such as the UK is attacked, other members, including the US, Germany and France, can respond together.

Radakin said that NATO forces would have a significant advantage over Russia.

He said the thousands of coalition forces stationed in Poland and the Baltics could count on “three and a half million uniformed personnel across the coalition for reinforcements.”

“NATO's combat air forces, which outnumber Russian forces 3:1, will quickly achieve air superiority,” he said, while NATO's naval forces “will work to clamp down” on the Russian Navy.

He added, “NATO has four times the number of ships and three times the number of submarines that Russia possesses.”

Radakin described NATO as “an alliance that is getting stronger all the time.”

Referring to the accession of Sweden and Finland, he said the number of NATO countries is growing from 30 to 32 countries, “with a collective GDP twenty times larger than Russia's. And a total defense budget three and a half times larger than that of Russia and China combined.”

“In addition, NATO has the additional strategic depth of having a population of more than a billion people,” he said. “And above all of this comes NATO as a nuclear alliance.”

Radakin said Russia's invasion of Ukraine showed it was “much less capable than we expected.”

“Its air force has failed to control the air. Its navy has seen 25% of its ships sunk or damaged in the Black Sea by a country that does not have a navy,” Radakin said, referring to Ukraine’s successes in the Black Sea.

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He added: “The Russian army has lost approximately 3,000 tanks, approximately 1,500 artillery pieces, and more than 5,000 armored combat vehicles.”

He also said that Putin had not achieved any of his goals in the invasion.

However, Radakin said it is possible that Russia is more dangerous and less capable than the West believes. He added: “Russia is the most dangerous to which we and NATO are responding.”