Executive Intelligence Review


New British Defense Chief Carleton-Smith Insists Russia Is a Greater Danger to U.K. Than ISIS

Nov. 24, 2018 (EIRNS)—Gen. Mark Carleton-Smith, the recently appointed British Chief of the Defense Staff, claimed, with a stiff upper lip, in an interview with the Telegraph that Russia is a greater threat to the U.K. than ISIS. “Russia today indisputably represents a far greater threat to our national security than Islamic extremist threats such as al-Qaeda and ISIL,” he said. “Russia has demonstrated that it is prepared to use military force to secure and expand its own national interests. The Russians seek to exploit vulnerability and weakness wherever they detect it.”

The defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria, Carleton-Smith said, means that the threat to Britain has changed and as a result, Britain and its allies needed to focus their attention on Russia, particularly after the Salisbury Novichok attack on March 4. “Russia has embarked on a systematic effort to explore and exploit Western vulnerabilities, particularly in some of the non-traditional areas of cyber, space, undersea warfare,” he said.

“We cannot be complacent about the threat Russia poses or leave it uncontested. The most important conventional military response to Russia is the continued capabilities and coherence of the NATO alliance.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded by questioning Carleton-Smith’s intelligence. “In regards to the words from Britain’s chief of the general staff, we can’t stop someone from showing what his intellectual capacities are,” he told reporters in Lisbon, reports AFP.

“I’ve already heard a lot of statements like this from the United Kingdom’s defense minister,” he said. “We can’t influence British government decisions on the people tasked with running their armed forces.”