British Troops Train For War In The Arctic

British troops are training in remote parts of Norway in preparation for an arctic war. The elite Royal Marines are learning to fight in sub-zero temperatures in a part of the Scandinavian country where temperatures drop to -20 degrees centigrade. The training consists of navigating icy landscapes, wading through freezing waters, constructing shelter from snow and brushwood, and hiding from thermal drones. The location indicates that Britain is preparing for a potential war with Russia, which the country’s leaders have warned is an impending possibility.

Describing the West as “moving from post-war to pre-war,” the UK’s Defense Secretary Grant Shapps recently warned his country that it must prepare for conflict with Russia, China, and Iran over the next five years. He called on NATO members to increase defense spending because the international order is “shaken to its core.” NATO’s former deputy commander-in-chief Richard Shirreff, who is British, agreed with Mr. Shapps and said Britain must begin to “think the unthinkable” and prepare for war.

General Sir Patrick Sanders, the head of the British Army, recently prompted a public backlash when he said military conscription may prove necessary in the coming years and that the United Kingdom should take “preparatory steps” to place its society “on a war footing.” The Defense Ministry, however, has distanced itself from those remarks, particularly as statistics showed that vast numbers of British citizens had no intention of signing up.

Defense Parliamentary member James Heappey played down Sir Patrick’s comments and said the UK has “long had plans” to “mobilize volunteers” in the event of a looming conflict. “Nobody is thinking” of conscription, he added.

A YouGov survey conducted in January this year, after the conscription debate, found that 30% were unwilling to fight, even if the UK was in danger of invasion. Only 7% said they would volunteer if a world war began, and only 11% would step up if the British mainland were threatened.