The British government announces an increase in military spending of 5.6 billion euros over the next two years

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak – Stefan Rousseau/Pa Wire/Dpa

The British government has announced that it will increase military spending by £5 billion (€5.6 billion) over the next two years to »meet the challenges of an increasingly volatile and complex world,» referring to »threats from Russia and China.»

The UK’s intention is to set defense spending at 2.5 percent of GDP in the long term. The government’s plan is to bolster existing munitions stocks, modernize the country’s nuclear enterprise and fund the next phase of the AUKUS program, a strategic partnership with Washington and Canberra for the Indo-Pacific region.

»We have seen very clearly in the last year how global crises affect us at home, with Russia’s terrible invasion of Ukraine driving up energy and food prices,» said British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

He stressed that »the UK must be ready to stand firm» and said that »by investing» in the British Armed Forces for the long term, the country will be »prepared for the challenges of today and the future».

The annual defense review report, which aims to respond to emerging geopolitical threats, identifies as a priority »dealing with the fundamental risk Russia poses to European security and denying Moscow any benefit from its illegal invasion of Ukraine».

Second, the document states that London has to deal with the challenges posed by Beijing militarily, financially and diplomatically. »The prime minister has set the direction across government for a consistent, coherent and robust approach to China, rooted in the national interest and aligned with our allies,» the statement from 10 Downing Street reads.

»We will strengthen our national defenses, from economic security to technology supply chains and intelligence expertise, to ensure that we are never again vulnerable to the actions of a hostile power,» the president added.

Sunak, who recalled that this move follows the largest increase in defense spending since the Cold War in 2020, said he will discuss with his U.S. and Australian allies the contribution to NATO, »defending our values from Ukraine to the South China Seas.»

Both Sunak and his Australian counterpart, Anthony Albanese, are in California to meet with US President Joe Biden to negotiate the AUKUS defense grand bargain that could culminate in an agreement for the delivery of nuclear submarines to the Australian military.

San Diego is home to Submarine Squadron 11 and also hosts more than 50 surface ships, making the city the largest U.S. Naval Force installation on the West Coast.