Britain’s special forces will take on a new covert mission against China and Russia as they shift their focus to countering “big state adversaries”, a senior military chief has revealed to The Sunday Times.
Brigadier Mark Totten said that the British Armed Forces Special Air Service (SAS) and Royal Navy Special Boat Service (SBS) would have more time and assets for “higher risk” counterstate tasks requiring more detail, planning and specialist expertise. The Royal Marines will take over the units’ traditional roles.
Army sources said special forces might be given “politically treacherous” tasks such as training the navies of countries near the South China Sea to better defend against Chinese hostility.
Earlier the British Royal Joint Institute for Defense Studies (RUSI) analyzed the reasons for the sharp escalation of the military conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The British think tank notes that the rise in tensions at the frontline in the Donbas between the Ukrainian government and Russian-backed rebels is evident through an increase in ceasefire violations and military casualties. This frontline in eastern Ukraine separates Ukrainian government-controlled territory from the Russian-backed, so-called Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics. Although the east has not seen the intense fighting of 2014–2015 for a number of years, things have continued to simmer