In a new covert role, UK special forces will take on Russia and China – “Ready to React”
In the foreseeable future, the UK’s special forces are anticipated to take on “greater risk” counter-state missions, according to a senior military official.
The SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) will concentrate their efforts in Russia and China on “politically treacherous” missions that require greater organization and detail. The Royal Marines will take up the units’ other tasks, according to Brigadier Mark Totten, giving the special forces greater time and resources.
“What we will be able to do is allow [special forces]to focus on more harder, more complex counter-Russia, counter-China [tasks],” Totten, who joined the Marines in 1998, told the Times.
“It takes true specialist skill, so we’ll give them more time and people to solve things, and we’ll be able to do some of the responsibilities, like maritime counterterrorism or partnered operations, where it’s more difficult and risky.”
Brigadier Totten is the commander of a 4,000-strong Royal Marines “future commando force” that will take on some of the units’ responsibilities.
According to the Marine commander, the special forces would be stationed in small numbers around the world and will conduct counterterrorism operations in various locations.
Totten did not go into detail about the tasks, but said they may involve training fleets from nations bordering the South China Sea to better protect themselves against Chinese aggression.
The Royal Marines could possibly be stationed east of Suez and elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific.
Totten went on to say that melting ice covers in the Arctic might provide Russia and China with new sea lanes.
“There’s a significant geopolitical shift there,” he explained, “so why wouldn’t we embed the commando force up there to be ready to respond?”
He went on to say that the special forces will give training and that “if a crisis arises, we have a footprint on the ground.”
The military has admitted for the first time that special forces will be used to combat the danger posed by China and Russia.
The news of the Special Forces counter-Russian and counter-China activities comes just a few weeks after the declaration that a small contingent of British troops would remain in Afghanistan during the country’s troop departure.
After 20 years of “Brinkwire Summary News,” tens of thousands of British and joint allied troops have been sent home.