General Sir Nick Carter pointed to how the pandemic has led to economic crises and a rise in nationalist fervour, that echo the lead up to the Second World War. Britain’s top military official argued that the only way to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past was to improve global co-operation on key issues. The Chief of the Defence Staff told The Daily Telegraph: “What you generally find with a crisis like this, which becomes an economic crisis, is that it then undermines the stability and security situation as well.
“What often follows a very significant economic event is a security challenge.
“If you look at the 1930s, that started with a significant economic crash – and that acted as a very destabilising feature.
“There are moments in history when significant economic challenges have led to security challenges because they act as a destabiliser.”
The Second World War is often seen as a consequence of the economic and political fall out of the Great Depression.
It is credited with fuelling the rise of nationalism and ultimately fascism in Europe.
The current Covid crisis has seen a rapid deterioration in international relations and cooperation between countries.
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“What the virus has revealed is some fault lines internationally, but also within society.”
He claimed that the biggest challenges would come when the worst of the pandemic was over, with the world facing a choice between “global solidarity and nationalist isolation.”
Sir Nick concluded: “My view is that global solidarity is what you need to deal with so many of the challenges and threats we face today, whether it is violent extremism, climate change or problems like Covid.
“These are problems that have to be solved globally.”