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‘Real risk’ coronavirus could spark World War Three, warns UK military chief

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The coronavirus pandemic could spark World War Three, Britain's armed forces chief has warned.

Economic devastation and anxiety across the world are fueling regional tensions, General Sir Nicholas Patrick Carter said.

The Chief of the Defence Staff told Sky News: "I think we are living at a moment in time where the world is a very uncertain and anxious place and of course, the dynamic of global competition is a feature of our lives as well, and I think the real risk we have with quite a lot of the regional conflicts that are going on at the moment, is you could see escalation lead to miscalculation."

Asked if that meant there was a genuine threat of another world war, Carter replied: "I’m saying it’s a risk and we need to be conscious of those risks."

Carter, who became the British military chief in 2018, said it was important to remember those who had died in previous wars as a warning to those who might repeat past mistakes.

In the interview aired on Remembrance Sunday, he said: "If you forget about the horror of war, then the great risk I think is that people might think that going to war is a reasonable thing to do.

"We have to remember that history might not repeat itself but it has a rhythm, and if you look back at the last century, before both world wars, I think it was unarguable that there was escalation which led to the miscalculation which ultimately led to war at a scale we would hopefully never see again."

  • World War 3
  • Coronavirus
  • British Army

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