American Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley criticized the UK at a recent conference, stating that the size of Britain’s army is too small, and is leaving the UK exposed. Other experts agreed.
Britain currently has a standing army of 92,000, according to Breitbart. By 2020 it will have just 82,000. They are attempting to make cuts to the military budget – but those numbers are close to those for an army about the size of Angola or Poland.
Other news media say that the current troop level in Britain is even lower at 78,410 with a target reduction to 65,000. The Ministry of Defence has been ordered to make £20 Billion in cuts over the next decade. Their Reserves are standing at 26,300. Why the confusion between numbers is unclear, but the budget cuts being reported are consistent.
“Tory MPs should not be trumpeting their record on defence. They should be embarrassed by the disgraceful damage their party has done to our armed forces.” Labour MP Dan Jarvis, UK Combat Veteran
The UK has been in a defense crunch. The British Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon, said he had not yet agreed to any cuts in the 7,000 Royal Marines, but that the head of the Royal Navy would make that decision. But UK Marines and Commandos may end up on the budget chopping block, depending on how they can make required changes in their operations to save money.
“What we are looking at is the way in which our Armed Forces work, the different tasks that they have and we are constantly looking to see that they are fit for purpose in what we do.
So if something is no longer needed, if it’s redundant, we need to make sure that we can put the savings back into new equipment.” Michael Fallon
“When justifying further cuts to soldier numbers to save money, some in UK defence have claimed an army can be quickly regenerated in times of need. But according to The Times, General Milley said this was a myth.
Speaking to an audience of British officers and personnel from other armies, including the French, German, and Chinese forces, he gave a strong defence of the utility of an army at a time of conflict.
“Bombs and bullets from the sky may be the first shots fired in a war but most of the time the last shot fired is coming out of an infantryman’s rifle,” he said.
General Sir Nicholas Carter, the chief of the general staff, leading the conference, pointed out that his regular force was at its smallest for 400 years ago.”
Other speakers at the conference also pointed out that the size of their standing army is too small. General Milley believes that “significant land forces” are the most important way to achieve an objective.
Efficiency is important in this modern technological world. But the safety of the nation is always more important than cutting budgets. The ability of a military force to mobilize as quickly as possible is irrefutable as the bottom line.
Featured photo of the British Army via Alchetron