Paying For The UK’s Cyber War With Russia

The British government is expected to deny further funding to its Armed Forces, diverting the much-needed funds to cyber security measures that are likely to target Russia in a move that split Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party.

A new report by the Telegraph newspaper has revealed that the latest National Security Review has delivered a striking blow to the British military, whilst allocating significant chunks of the budget to cyber warfare. 

The UK military establishment had hoped to evade the crippling cuts if the new Review would have recommended Theresa May channel some £2 billion to the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in order to fight terrorism more effectively and improve veteran care.

According to the Telegraph, however, those hopes are now shattered as National Security Advisor Mark Sedwill suggested that the money would be better spent on conducting cyber activities. The Review, which was ordered by British Prime Minister Theresa May after terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, has allegedly stated that the MoD will not receive any more funds over its annual budget of £36 billion and proposed additional cuts to military personnel.

Amongst suggestions being considered is the idea of sacking 1,000 Royal Marines, delaying the Royal Airforce's order for the F-35 fighters and dropping two Royal Navy ships.

The British Army is also expected to be gutted out as the number of servicemen may be reduced to less than 70,000 against the recommended target of 82,000 soldiers and officers. The proposals sent shock waves through the British Army, which is currently at its smallest in over 350 years, falling behind its target size by some 4,000 servicemen.

Disquiet in Conseravtive Ranks
Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood threatened to resign if all Mark Sedwills proposals are adopted by the government. Nicholas Soames MP, the senior conservative and Winston Churchill's grandson, urged that "the Conservative party has a duty now to unite against further defence cuts to capability." 

The reason behind plans to boost the UK's cyber warfare capabilities is thought to be Theresa May's promise to wage a cyber campaign against Russia.

Speaking at the annual Lord Mayor's Banquet in London earlier this month the Prime Minister, accused Russia of a "sustained campaign of cyberespionage and disruption", that was "threatening the international order".  "So we will take the necessary actions to counter Russian activity," May proclaimed.

The Russian government has firmly denied these allegations, saying that it does not engage in offensive cyber activities and pointing to the lack of proof to that fact. 

Ein News

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