Defence chiefs say Britain is living in “truly dangerous times” as the possibility of World War III looms on the horizon.
Intelligence officials have issued a stark warning that the UK could find itself drawn into conflict with Russia, China, or Iran.
They say Britain must act now, as it could well be too late to mobilise once conflict breaks out.
An official told the Mail: “We do not want to give a panicked message. We want people to understand.
“We are living in truly dangerous times. The likelihood of a large scale conflict at a point in the future is higher than it has been in the past.”
The source said the UK’s top-secret Defence Intelligence (DI) HQ is “providing insight” into what Britain’s adversaries are doing. They said this gives military bosses time to “get set”.
The Euro-Atlantic region is a key focus for intelligence gathering, following by the Middle East and then Indo-Pacific. The regions are becoming increasingly unstable due to competition between states, migration levels and health.
Another official told the Mail: “Russia is top of the list because it is a nuclear power with an expansionist agenda.
“Threats are complex and interconnected. There is greater instability therefore a greater chance of conflict. We run operations such as counter-intelligence to disrupt adversaries.”
Defence Intelligence is part of the Ministry of Defence’s “Strategic Command”. Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said it has been “growing” in an “increasingly uncertain and dangerous world”.
He told the Mail experts were working with “next-generation technologies” as well as liaising with allies and industry. He said the DI’s work is “increasingly critical” in keeping Britain safe in the future.
Heappey added: “We also deliver highly detailed intelligence products to quickly counter false narratives employed by hostile states like Russia.”