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World War 3 warning as NATO and Europe now in ‘same worrying position as 1930s’

Nuclear attack ‘not as improbable’ as before war says Clapper

Britain and Europe are “back in the same space as they were in the 1930s” before World War 2, has been told, in what is an eerie warning about Russia and the war in Ukraine.

Fears over nuclear weapons were largely muted before Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine but have quickly become a focus of the conflict.

This week, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said he would be willing to use nuclear weapons given by close ally Russia in the face of foreign “aggression” from the West.

Such levels of nuclear posturing have not been seen since the Cold War when the US and the Soviet Union had hundreds of nuclear missiles pointed at each other in the event of an all-out war.

Now, Julian Lindley-French, Chairman of The Alphen Group (TAG) who has worked with NATO, has warned that the “cycle of warfare” is coming full circle and “history is doing what it has always done”.

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He told “If you look at these cycles, you get what’s called ‘systemic wars’: World War 1, World War 2, the Cold War.

“Over time, because of politics and economics and technology, pressure builds up in the competition between states.

“For a period, like in the Nineties, that competition can be relatively peaceful. But if that competition is ultimately about who rules, as it is between the US and China, it becomes increasingly dangerous — as it did before World War 1 and World War 2. We are back in that 1930s space.”

While Mr Lindley-French said this doesn’t guarantee Europe to be “doomed to face World War 3”, he said the lack of war planning and defence spending in most countries, especially the UK, was frightening.

Earlier this year, a US general privately told Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, who is to step down at the next Cabinet reshuffle, that the British Army is no longer regarded as a top-tier fighting force.

They said decades of spending cuts on the UK’s defences had left the country vulnerable, especially in the wake of the Ukraine war.

“Bottom line… it’s an entire service unable to protect the UK and our allies for a decade,” they said.

Even with the threat of war spilling over into Europe, Mr Lindley-French said leaders are still not doing anything to get ahead of the curve.

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“They are in denial about the danger of such a war taking place,” he said. “They would prefer to live in what they see as the comforting world of the Nineties — but the Nineties were filled with wars which indicated there was dynamism in the system.”

The UK’s defence spending as a proportion of GDP has halved since the Eighties, the equivalent of a drop of around one in six military personnel and a serious decline in equipment.

Despite this, it is one of only seven NATO member countries that consistently hits the organisation’s goal of spending two percent of GDP on defence.

The other countries include the US, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland — the latter four all within close proximity to Russia with some sharing borders with it.

The rest of Europe and other NATO members have failed to keep pace with the “dangerous world we live in”, according to NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg, leaving many essentially defenceless and ill-prepared for any belligerence.

In recent years China has thrown its hat into the nuclear ring, it currently embarking on a programme to modernise its nuclear capabilities by 2035.

A report compiled by the US last year stated: “If China continues the pace of its nuclear expansion, it will likely field a stockpile of about 1,500 warheads by its 2035 timeline.”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian rejected this, however, and said China was practising “utmost restraint” in developing its nuclear capabilities.

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