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

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.