Sat. Apr 20th, 2024
alert-–-grant-shapps-warns-‘we-have-moved-from-a-post-war-to-a-pre-war-world’-as-defence-secretary-tells-nato-allies-not-meeting-2%-defence-spending-target-they-are-playing-‘russian-roulette’-with-west’s-securityAlert – Grant Shapps warns ‘we have moved from a post-war to a pre-war world’ as Defence Secretary tells NATO allies not meeting 2% defence spending target they are playing ‘Russian roulette’ with West’s security

Grant Shapps has delivered a stark warning that we have ‘moved from a post-war to a pre-war world’ amid the threat posed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea.

The Defence Secretary issued the chilling message as he detailed the current security risks to Western nations on the 75th anniversary of NATO’s founding.

He called on Britain’s NATO allies to ‘do more to pay their way’ and urged them to meet the target for each alliance member to spend 2 per cent of GDP on defence.

Mr Shapps warned a failure to meet the long-established target was akin to playing ‘Russian roulette with our future’.

Only 11 NATO allies currently meet the 2 per cent target, which was first set nearly two decades ago at a 2006 summit.

Although that figure is expected to rise to 18 this year, it means many of NATO’s current 32 members are still falling short.

Grant Shapps has delivered a stark warning that we have 'moved from a post-war to a pre-war world' amid the threat posed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea

Grant Shapps has delivered a stark warning that we have ‘moved from a post-war to a pre-war world’ amid the threat posed by Russia, China, Iran and North Korea

A Russian tank fires its cannon at Ukrainian troops from a position near the border with Ukraine in the Belgorod region, Russia

A Russian tank fires its cannon at Ukrainian troops from a position near the border with Ukraine in the Belgorod region, Russia

In an article for the Telegraph to mark NATO’s 75th anniversary today, Mr Shapps wrote: ‘Paying tribute to Nato’s past is not enough.

‘Today we must give urgent thought once again to the Alliance’s future. We have moved from a post-war to a pre-war world.

‘Russia is menacing our neighbours. China is increasingly belligerent. Iran is using its proxies to cause regional havoc from the Middle East to the straits of Yemen.

‘And North Korea is perpetually rattling its nuclear sabre. Increasingly these malign powers are aligning and our democracy is in their crosshairs.’

The Defence Secretary urged NATO allies to ‘redouble our efforts to support Ukraine’ following Russia’s invasion of its neighbour. 

He also called on Western nations to ‘bolster our Euro-Atlantic defence sector’ by investing in more ammunition and more stockpiles.

And Mr Shapps called on all NATO members to meet the 2 per cent defence spending target.

‘Alliance members must do more to pay their way,’ he added. ‘US taxpayers are not wrong to expect NATO allies to stump up more cash.

‘The UK has always met our NATO spending obligations. With our defence budget at 2.28 per cent of GDP and our commitment to increase it 2.5%, we will continue to be a leader in the alliance.

‘In the rest of NATO, things are also moving in the right direction. NATO’s Secretary General expects at least 18 allies to spend 2 per cent of their GDP on defence this year.

‘Last year the number was 11. Poland is increasing its budget by 70 per cent since Russia’s illegal incursion into Crimea.

‘At the same time, it’s 10 years since NATO allies agreed to meet 2 per cent and we must look beyond that target to shore up our defences.

‘Yet some nations are still failing to meet even the 2 per cent. That cannot continue. We can’t afford to play Russian roulette with our future.’

Mr Shapps’ comments echoed a warning by Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron, who said the West needs to ‘win the argument for NATO again’ as Europe faces the same situation as in 1938.

In his speech at an event in Brussels hosted by the Royal United Services Institute, Lord Cameron said NATO needed to demonstrate its ‘relevance’ to younger people who had not grown up with the threat of the Cold War.

He said: ‘I think we have to win the argument for NATO all over again with a new generation, a generation that can see, yes, look at the threat that Ukraine has faced from Russia, but I think we need to go back to a more foundational argument, which is this.

‘Fundamentally, the greatness of NATO is it allows countries to choose their own future.’

He added: ‘I think that is the sort of incredibly strong, values-based argument that a younger generation can understand and see.’