Euro debt crisis a threat to British security

The biggest threat to Britain's military could be the collapse of the euro.

Steve Chiotakis: While the U.S. today marks the official end of the Iraq war, in Britain, the senior most military leader there is warning of the newest threat to that country's national security: the eurozone debt crisis. General David Richards said in a lecture yesterday, the crisis poses the biggest strategic threat that Britain faces.

From London, here's Marketplace's Stephen Beard.


Stephen Beard: General Richards said his main worry is the ability of Britain's European allies to maintain their armed forces. He fears that austerity and slow economic growth in the eurozone will further dent defence budgets there. And he's nervous about the U.K.'s own defence spending. If the euro collapses, Britain's economy could shrink by up to 8 percent.

Peter Felstead is editor of Janes Defence Weekly:

Peter Felstead: One of the greatest defences this country can have is to have a strong economy. And from that comes everything else: the ability to procure decent defensive capabilities, for example.

In his lecture, General Richards also expressed concern about defence cuts in the U.S. and that America intends to switch its main military focus away from Europe to the Pacific and South East Asia.

In London I'm Stephen Beard for Marketplace.

About the author

Stephen Beard is the European bureau chief and provides daily coverage of Europe’s business and economic developments for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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