The Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, with two squadrons of F-35 stealth fighters on board, will be sent into controversial waters in the Pacific under the sign of "hard power," the British defense secretary is expected to announce in an important speech. on military strategy in the post-Brexit world.
Gavin Williamson will state that the UK "may need to step in" in the future to deal with the aggression of countries such as Russia and China who "flout international law" and are "in resuscitate "in rebuilding their armed forces.
Britain and its Western allies must be ready "to use hard power to defend their interests," the US Defense Secretary said in a speech on Monday at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). in London. "We must be ready to show the high price of aggressive behavior, ready to strengthen our resilience."
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Mr. Williamson will say, "Great Britain has the greatest opportunity, in 50 years, to redefine its role when leaving the European Union. And as the world is changing so quickly, it is up to us to seize the opportunity offered by Brexit.
"We can build new alliances, revive old ones, and, most importantly, let people know that we are the country that will act if necessary and that people will be able to turn to them when the world needs leadership."
The defense secretary said that part of the £ 1.8 billion increase in the defense budget will fund a "hefty investment" in cyber-offensive operations and defense against attacks hostile on UK networks. There will also be a multi-million pound war money fund, to which the three services will contribute to the development of innovative equipment.
Williamson is increasingly interested in "brutal power," but successive British governments have no longer focused on "quiet power" – diplomacy, trade and cultural exchange – to spread British influence to abroad after the long and costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sources close to Mr. Williamson pointed out that he was totally in favor of the use of "soft power" tools, but felt that there should also be a willingness to deploy the armed forces when needed. "History has taught us that the crisis occurs when you least expect it," he said. "As uncertainty grows, we must be ready to act and bring others with us."
In December, Mr. Williamson went to Odessa, the port of Ukraine's Ukrainian ships seized by Russian forces in the Black Sea, and announced that he was planning to Send warships into the area to claim freedom of navigation. Moscow described the visit as "provocation".
Queen Elizabeth's planned trip to the Pacific with her Joint Strike Fighters (JSF) squad will take the carrier to a rising naval arena.
China is in conflict with neighboring states and the United States about the ownership of a number of islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, its claims over territorial waters and the construction of bases naval vessels, called "rosaries of pearls".
Japan, India, Australia and the United States formed the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue Group, with joint naval exercises aimed at isolating China. He described foreign warships claiming freedom of navigation in the South China Seas as a threat to his sovereignty.
Michael Clarke, senior executive at RUSI, said: "Aside from the wrongs and rights of Brexit, Britain needs to build relationships with the rest of the world. There is nothing wrong with Queen Elizabeth being sent to the Pacific in this type of deployment, after all, we already have forces east of Suez.
"Gavin Williamson seems to want to make his mark. He sees defense as an extension of foreign policy. And, until now, he has become one of the very few ministers of the Conservative government whose reputation has not been seriously damaged by the Brexit crisis.
"However, the question is whether he can get support from the rest of the government, his fellow ministers, in this coming policy."
General Sir Richard Barrons, who had served in Iraq, Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, said: "There was a lot of talk of" soft power ", especially at the end of the cold war, but" hard power "is again in fashion. .
"We have seen how some states have adopted an aggressive and aggressive approach in international relations. It is the good policy that the UK assumes its share of responsibility alongside its allies in enforcing the order based on international rules, and Queen Elizabeth and the JSF are probably the right way to do that .
"The question now is whether this can be sustained in the long run with the defense budget thinned over 30 years."
Nia Griffiths, the Labor Party's shadow defense secretary, said, "The UK's ability to play our role in the international arena has been completely undermined by eight years of defensive cuts by the Conservative government. The Conservatives have reduced the defense budget by more than £ 9 billion in real terms since 2010, and they are reducing the armed forces numbers year after year. "
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