In an unusually frank warning, the UK’s chief of the general staff, Gen Sir Nicholas Carter, has described Russia as the biggest state-based threat to the UK since the cold war and warned that hostilities could begin a lot sooner than the UK expects. The likelihood of a boots-on-the-ground confrontation is unlikely, but he’s concerned about cyber-attacks and the possibility of Putin pushing against NATO in the Baltic states. He said Russia has used the Syria excursion to test the new weaponry and that the UK was falling behind because of budget cuts, a view which has also been expressed by the US military about the UK. He said the new warfare wouldn’t necessarily involve “something that goes bang” but could involve the exploitation of energy, bribery, corrupt business practices, cyber-attacks, assassinations, fake news, propaganda and military intimidation.
Carter, 11 Feb 1959, Kenya, is a Sun Mercury in Aquarius opposition Uranus; with a tough Pluto square Mars, sextile Neptune and trine Saturn. He looks distinctly unhappy this year and next; and won’t have made himself popular with the PM or with the chancellor, neither of whom are exactly militarily-minded. He serves at the politicians’ pleasure so may find himself out on a limb. Certainly he’s out of sorts with May and Hammond after mid year.
Wars are notoriously tricky to spot even on relationship charts. Both the Russia 1917 and 1991 charts merged with the UK, look edgy this year, perhaps more so in 2019.
NATO looks under extreme pressure from this March onwards for two years, though that could be for various reasons. Again 2019 looks more fraught. The NATO/Russia relationship charts are volatile at the best of times and in a state of great unease and disruption in 2018 to 2021. So anything is possible.