Read at www.theguardian.com
British defence intelligence officials warn that the UK is at a high risk of large-scale conflict as the Middle East crisis, Russia's expansionism, and China's advanced weapons development escalate. The officials cite the busy and strained operations of the 4,500-strong intelligence unit, reflecting a period of instability intensified by recent events. They also highlight the challenge of dealing with the frequent turnover of decision-makers in the UK government. Educating politicians with little international or military experience is seen as vital by the senior defence official.
Is there a likelihood of a large-scale conflict? Yes, there is. It's probably more likely than it has been at any recent point.
The turnover of ministers in the UK government is a significant concern, according to defence intelligence officials. The continuous change in leadership makes it difficult to ensure that key politicians have the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions. During the past years, three prime ministers, four foreign secretaries, and two defence secretaries have served. The officials emphasize the importance of educating senior officials and military leaders to fill the gap in expertise within the government.
A particular challenge, they added, was dealing with the turnover of decision makers during years of Conservative turmoil.
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