U.K. military chief warns of dangerous times ahead

General Sir David Roberts, the chief of the British defense staff and the country's most senior military official, recently set out his vision for the future of the U.K. military.

Roberts characterized the world as becoming a place where governance vacuums have given extremist groups the ability to perpetrate violence and more easily gain access instruments of terror, including biological weaponry, according to the Guardian.

"Much of the world seems less stable and more dangerous than was the case even two years ago," Roberts said, the Guardian reports.

The general said that his newly developing doctrine will reflect that the military has to do more with less funding than it wants. He said the armed forces will face difficult choices about what constitutes necessary equipment and must adapt in order to provide the country with the security it demands.

"We cannot shrug our shoulders and hope the problem will go away," Roberts said, the Guardian reports. "We have to be ready to fight and fight effectively, often not on our own terms and accepting the constraints we are under. We should be under no illusions. The armed forces of tomorrow, like those of today, will be engaged in operations around the world."

Roberts said that while some threats are long-term, others are immediate, adding that Syria's civil war could have potential consequences for regional stability in the Middle East and warned about the dangers posed by its chemical weapons.

"Should chemical weapons be used or proliferate, both President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron have made it clear that a line would have been crossed," Roberts said, the Guardian reports. "And Syria is linked to Iran. The regime is backed by Tehran so the fall of Assad's dictatorship will impact [on] the Iranian government. What that means for the stability of the region is as yet unclear."