U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson announced plans to build two new military bases in the Caribbean and southeast Asia,
Citing an interview with Gavin Williamson, the Sunday Telegraph reported that the plans are part of an effort to make the U.K. “a true global player” by increasing the country’s role on the international stage after it leaves the European Union.
It also marks a shift from the so-called 1968 East of Suez strategy in which the U.K. withdrew from military bases in southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf, the minister told the paper.
The Defense Secretary also downplayed the significance of his announcement that 3.500 troops were being put on standby, describing it as “good sensible planning to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible”.
“I am very much looking at how can we get as much of our resources forward based, actually creating a deterrent but also taking a British presence,” he said.
“We are looking at those opportunities not just in the Far East but also in the Caribbean as well.”
The defense secretary also claimed that recent research showed the British underestimated the potential for UK global influence.