General Sir Nick Carter said the pandemic’s economic damage will likely lead to “security challenges” similar to those faced in the 1930s.

The Chief of the Defence Staff told The 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.”

He added: “There are moments in history when significant economic challenges have led to security challenges because they act as a destabiliser.”

The economic crisis in the 30s was caused by the Great Depression and helped fascist leaders rise up across Europe.

It ultimately led to the outbreak of World War Two and Sir Nick has suggested history is not far from repeating itself. 

China has faced allegations of covering up the origins of the pandemic while the EU was widely rebuked for temporarily triggering Article 16 of the Brexit protocol to block vaccine doses to the UK.

Sir Nick said there has been “some unity with the vaccine,” but people have “put up nationalist barriers,” adding that does “not exactly help you with security and stability”. 

“What the virus has revealed is some fault lines internationally, but also within society,” he said. 

What the virus has revealed is some fault lines internationally, but also within society.General Sir Nick CarterChief of Defence Staff

But the Defence chief said the greatest challenges will come when the pandemic’s biggest problems start to recede. 

“We will be confronted with a couple of big choices,” he said. 

“There will be a big choice between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment, and there will be a big choice between global solidarity and nationalist isolation.”

Back in November, the military chief warned the pandemic’s economic fallout had made the prospect of World War Three a “risk”.

He even said the country’s 82,000-strong Army will begin to look different as it modernises in the face of emerging threats – with “robots” potentially fighting on the frontlines.

The senior official also argued that, with the world being “a very uncertain and anxious place” during the pandemic, there was the possibility “you could see escalation lead to miscalculation”.

Sir Nick told The Telegraph that he believes the only way to avoid a rerun of the 1930s is for improved global co-operation on key issues.

“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,” he said. 

“These are problems that have to be solved globally.”

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