Boris Johnson has chosen the navy chief for the first time in 20 years as Britain’s next chief of the armed forces, an election that aims to reinforce the UK’s post-Brexit transition to focus in the Indo-Pacific region.
The prime minister chose admirer Sir Tony Radakin for the 270,000-a-year position from a five-man squad to replace General Sir Nick Carter, who had been criticized for his erratic withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Announcing the new Chief of Defense Staff, Johnson said Radakin had proven himself to be an outstanding military leader who would lead the armed forces in a time of extraordinary change while respecting the values and standards to which they are respected throughout the world.
Radakin, 55, is the first lord of the sea responsible for the Royal Navy, which this year deployed aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and a range of support vessels in the Pacific as part of a more aggressive stance against China.
Born in Oldham, Radakin is a trained lawyer but has served in the Navy since 1990, working up to his rank until he became the first sea lord in 2019.
He said he was humbled to have been elected at a time of great change, adding that Johnson and Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace have called for reform and we must seize the opportunity given to us by the government and make sure we are a force to be reckoned with. global that is serving global Britain.
The Allies emphasize his communication skills, seen as key to his work after Carter, who was widely criticized for his naive portrayal of the Taliban, describing them as country boys who wanted an inclusive Afghanistan for all days after the fall of Kabul. .
Earlier this year, Downing Street published an integrated review of defense and foreign policy, a key feature of which was the call for a significant British re-engagement in the Indo-Pacific, which was abandoned in the late 1960s. .
Naval power is considered to be at the heart of competition with China, which has the largest fleet in the world. Last month, the UK also signed a three-nation pact with the US to supply long-range nuclear submarines to Australia.
Radakin had worked hard for the job and had had resentment in some parts of Whitehall that he had tried so hard to seek credit for the submarine deal, called Aukus, which had been negotiated at the country leader level.
The rise also comes after the apparent suicide of former Royal Navy chief General Majo Matthew Holmes, 54. Holmes, who had resigned from his post in April following a naval reshuffle, had experienced personal hardship.
Radakins’s main rival was General Sir Patrick Sanders, 55, who leads the British Special Forces and cyber-military operations, whose allies argued they had more operational experience than the Navy chief. Others at odds were General Sir Mark Carleton-Smith, Army Chief and Air Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, who heads the RAF.
The appointment completes a process that lasted about a month, starting with interviews by a Ministry of Defense panel chaired by Wallace. The Secretary of Defense then sent his recommendation to the Prime Minister, but the appointment is ultimately Johnson.
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