Don’t be fooled by Boris Johnson indulging in his usual Winston Churchill cosplay as Russia invades Ukraine.
He may be trying to talk tough now but a mere three months ago he publicly mocked Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative MP and chairman of the Defence Select Committee, for expressing concern about cuts to British military capabilities.
“We are cutting back on our tanks,” Ellwood told the PM at the Liaison Committee on 17 November 2021. “What is amassing on the Ukrainian border? It’s tanks. But that’s besides the point. I’m saying step back, look at the wider security picture, look at our defence posture, and see what needs to be done.”
He added that in general “capabilities have been reduced”, pointing to cuts to tanks, aircraft and the removal of 10,000 troops.
Johnson dismissed his concerns and responded: “We have to recognise that the old concepts of fighting big tank battles on European land mass are over, and there are other, better things we should be investing in, in FCAS, in the future combat air system, in cyber, this is how warfare in the future is going to be.”
Well, that aged well.