Chief of the Defense Staff of the United Kingdom General Nick Carter published a plan for political warfare against the country's allegedly "authoritarian rivals" on the government's website. Among those he named Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea.
He said Russia and China hope to defeat Great Britain and other Western powers without entering a war. Carter claims Moscow and Beijing are already waging a "political war" against the West to break its will, which does not require a full-scale war. In particular, according to the General, such a conflict involves tools like disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks and mass surveillance.
The announced plan reads that Britain needs to reshape its thinking to deter "authoritarian rivals." For this purpose General Carter introduced the Integrated Operating Concept, which particularly emphasizes the need to compete "below the threshold of war" in order to prevent the adversaries "from achieving their objectives in fait accompli strategies." "We must chart a direction of travel from an industrial age of platforms to an information age of systems," Carter said.
Rather convoluted and not quite clear. However, sir Nick Carter obviously suggests that the UK step up its struggle against Russia and other "authoritarian rivals" of London, as the General put it. To do this, they are invited to focus on creating alliances and strengthening interaction.
Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of trying to influence democratic processes in different countries, with Russian President's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov calling them "positively unfounded". In turn, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said there were no facts to confirm this. And this time, General Carter did not provide any evidence of Russia's use of cyber and information attacks against other countries, namely the United Kingdom. But the British side does not apparently need to do this: it is important that London once again accuse Moscow of the whole bag of tricks.
The question is why do they need it and who has empowered them to do this? They had better mind their own domestic affairs, including the fight against coronavirus, and Brexit (Britain's withdrawal from the European Union). But, apparently, it is in order to distract the attention of ordinary Britons from these complex and unresolved challenges that official London would come up with tall tales about the "Russian threat" and Moscow's alleged interference in their internal affairs. This time the British authorities fell back upon General Carter. But they did it sort of clumsily and in a militarily heavy-handed manner.
By the way, this is not for the first time that this high-ranking member of the British top brass remarks upon a possible war between Moscow and London. Last year, the Russian Embassy in the UK sent a note of protest to the British Foreign Office because of his words that Moscow's policy might entail an armed conflict. Diplomats believe Carter has specifically tried to create an impression with the audience that Russia's actions in Syria will lead to an armed conflict with Britain. This is crazy. And the one who's gone crazy is no less a person than the Chief of the Defense Staff of the United Kingdom.
It is also noteworthy that the Carter plan was published on the eve of a five-year comprehensive analysis of the country's defense and foreign policy. Subsequent to the results of this analysis, the UK is expected to try to actively build up its forces and means necessary to counter the enemy in cyberspace, as well as the radio intelligence of "authoritarian rivals". Whom exactly? Russia, China, Iran and North Korea, as General Carter has already specified.
It should be noted that for some time past London has been stubbornly trying to take the lead in the confrontation with "authoritarian rivals". Given that the United States clearly has other things to worry about ahead of the elections, Britain decided to take on this heavy and thankless burden. For Boris Johnson's government this is especially important now that, having virtually left the European Union, the UK has found itself on the outskirts of world politics, with just a few countries still considering London a leading global player. So what on earth is the British authorities to do in this situation? Certainly look for an external enemy responsible for London's loss of weight on a global stage. Russia has primarily become such an enemy, with Whitehall directing its aggressive intentions against.
Britain has never been particularly friendly to our country. This was the case in the age of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, and it continues to be the case with present-day Russia. But recently, London has simply surpassed itself in the vineyards of anti-Russian hysteria, which is beyond the pale. Too bad Boris Johnson's government does not understand this and makes every effort to cast another shadow on relations between London and Moscow. And General Carter's fresh plan of action against the "authoritarian rivals" is a plain evidence of this.