Prime Minister Theresa May asked her defence minister to justify the United Kingdom's status as a "tier one" military power, sending shockwaves through the defence establishment just weeks before a major NATO summit, the Financial Times reported.
The FT said May told Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson that he needed to rethink the capabilities needed to be a modern military force and focus more on Britain's ability to tackle any cyber warfare threats, including from Russia.
May's office acknowledged that Williamson's plans had been challenged by May at a meeting on Tuesday but dismissed suggestions that she was arguing for a reduction in Britain's military status, the FT said.
"The prime minister is strongly committed to the United Kingdom's armed forces and to maintaining their strength and their ability to deter and where necessary defeat the threats we face."
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)