According to the head of UK armed forces, General Sir Nick Carter, the world is at risk of a new world war if current conflicts grow out of control. He also said that the current COVID pandemic and subsequent economic downturn could also exacerbate geopolitical conditions.
Carter's comments came on Remembrance Sunday, the holiday that honors the lives lost during the first two world wars. Carter said that remembering the sacrifices of these wars is still important today because we are at risk of repeating the same mistakes.
In an interview with Sky News , the chief of the defense staff gave insights into the future of British Armed Forces, saying that robots could represent up to a quarter of the British army in the 2030s.
Carter said the world is in "a very uncertain and anxious place."
EXCLUSIVE: UK military chief warns risk of new world war if current, smaller conflicts escalate out of control
General Sir Nick Carter offers vision of future @BritishArmy, 120,000 troops, 1/4 of them robots
He signals need for multi-year @DefenceHQ budgethttps://t.co/Ge05nJxkwm
— Deborah Haynes (@haynesdeborah) November 8, 2020
"I think the real risk we have, with quite a lot of regional conflicts that are going on at the moment, is you could see escalation lead to miscalculation and that is a thing I think we have to guard against," he said.
"The protagonists, either because they don't realise the implications of their actions, lead to an escalation, which means that more people perhaps get involved, more weaponry gets involved and before you can contain it, it leads the sides ending up in a full-blown war. We have to remember history might not repeat itself but it has a rhythm and if you look back at the last century, before both world wars, I think it was unarguable that there was escalation that led to the miscalculation which ultimately led to war at a scale we would hopefully never see again," Carter explained.
"This year we need to work harder to remind people why Remembrance matters."
The Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, has written on the importance of Remembrance this year in today's @Telegraph
Read more here 👇https://t.co/83YIOI3EZz
— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) November 8, 2020
When asked if the threat of another world war was real, General Carter said that "I am saying it's a risk and I think we need to be conscious of those risks."
Carter warned that world leaders would need to be "very cautious about how you manage the sorts of regional conflicts that we see playing out in the world today."
He did not name any particular conflicts specifically, but there are already many proxy wars taking place around the globe, in which large countries with nuclear capabilities such as the United States and Russia are each funding opposing sides of conflicts in impoverished countries with the hopes of benefiting from the outcomes. Any of these numerous conflicts could easily grow out of control and spark a larger war between nuclear militaries.
General Carter showed some optimism, saying that negotiations are currently happening in a very "constructive way"
Carter has been a controversial figure throughout his career for all the right reasons. Other generals in the United States have criticized him for being too "risk-averse" on the battlefield and being too concerned about civilian casualties. His comments on Remembrance Sunday about how war should be avoided at all costs reflect this attitude, which has been praised by some, and criticized by others.
The full interview with General Carter can be viewed below: