General Mark Carleton-Smith, 54, who has been recently appointed as the Chief of General Staff of Britain’s Army has warned its European allies that Russia poses “indisputably” a far greater threat than Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State groups. He told this during his first ever interview after being appointed, reported The Telegraph.
Russia a bigger threat
“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. 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 to The Telegraph.
Reportedly, he has wanted the need for the creation of an independent rival defence force of European nations as a rival to NATO. “I would not support any initiative that diluted the military effectiveness of NATO,” he said.
“NATO represents the centre of gravity of European security. It has been an extraordinarily successful alliance and, in my experience, we should reinforce success,” he added.
Who is General Mark Carleton-Smith?
General Mark Carleton-Smith had previously worked as Director of Special Forces and was made the Chief of General staff in June 2018. He was seen to have taken an active part during Gulf war (1991). In the year 2000, he was even awarded the Queen’s Commendation for valuable service. He was the Commander during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and in 2008 led the Operation Eagle summit, which was an attack on the Taliban territory.
The Skripal poisoning issue
Russia and UK have been at loggerheads with each other in the past few months over the alleged attack on the ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, using a nerve agent at Salisbury in Britain on March 4, 2018.
According to the BBC, the Britain detectives claim that the ex-spy and his daughter came into contact with this nerve agent called Novichok while opening their front door as it is alleged that this agent might have been sprayed on the door handle. They were taken to the hospital as they fell seriously ill, over the next two days. They lived through the attack. The UK thus after a thorough investigation has pinned down two Russian nationalists Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, as suspects in the attempted murder. Skripal is said to have been attacked as he is alleged of providing details to the western nations regarding Russia, as he was working for Russia’s GRU before.
According to the Daily Mail, UK Prime Minister Theresa May took to the issue openly on March 13, 2018, and gave a midnight deadline to the Kremlin officials to take responsibility for the attack. But, Russia ignored the warning and asked for the samples of the nerve agent found in the ex-spy’s body, before it could claim responsibility.
Russia had openly taken to Twitter to condemn the acts of Britain to discredit Russia. Theresa May even had the backing of US, France and Germany against Russia in this issue.
Russia’s issues with other nations
Russia has been blamed by other nations for the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17.
According to the Guardian, a Dutch-led investigation in May has come out with facts that state that Russia’s surface-to-air missile was responsible for the downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014. It was found in the investigation that the missile which was based in the city of Kursk, was brought by Moscow backed rebels into Ukraine and was fired during the same time period when the airline was downed. Russia has claimed these reports as unfounded.
It was also blamed for tampering with the 2016 US Presidential elections. Russia is alleged to have tampered the elections by using its enhanced cyberspace influencing technologies.