Former army chief says he cannot rule out Ukraine conflict sparking world war

General Sir Mike Jackson said Russia’s invasion had put the world in ‘uncharted territory’.

20 March 2022

A former army chief has said he “can’t rule out” the conflict in Ukraine sparking a third world war.

General Sir Mike Jackson, a former chief of the general staff and head of the British army, said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had put the world in “uncharted territory”.

Sir Mike, who led the army during the allied invasion of Iraq in 2003, suggested that Moscow’s actions meant the risk of nuclear weapons being deployed had potentially increased.

Both the Kremlin and members of the Nato alliance, including the UK and the US, possess nuclear missiles.

Speaking to GB News on Sunday, the 77-year-old was asked whether he thought the battle between Ukraine and Russia could escalate into a third world war.

“I can’t rule it out. I find that very hard to say,” the retired general said.

“The situation is now very delicate in terms of east-west and its future.

“It’s uncharted territory.”

General Mike Jackson when he was commander of Nato troops in Kosovo (Paul Grover/PA)
General Mike Jackson when he was commander of Nato troops in Kosovo (Paul Grover/PA)

He added: “We haven’t, thank God, seen nuclear weapons used since 1945.

“But I honestly can’t say with confidence we can survive another century without such use.”

Sir Mike concurred with Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s argument that Britain should not get involved directly in the eastern European conflict amid calls by Ukrainians for Nato to police a no-fly zone.

“Strategically we have to continue on the road we have now set out to assist Ukraine, short of offering military presence in the air or the ground,” he continued.

“I am content with that argument.

“We have to continue ostracising (Russian President) Vladimir Putin while remembering our dispute isn’t with the Russian people.”

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