More cuts to the Defence manpower budget will be announced today, reducing the Army in particular by a further 5,000 men and women. This is without doubt a dangerous and ridiculous move.
As a member of the UN Security Council and a major player on the global military scene, we have always punched above our weight and without doubt have a remarkably high level of respect amongst forces globally. But unlike in some other countries, the military in Britain exists to support our National and Foreign policies and should only be shaped by the demands of those policies.
So at a time when our Prime Minister is warning us of a possible new 10 year war against terror, in north Africa, it is beyond comprehension that we can prepare for such endeavour with fewer troops. And it is fewer troops – not sailors or airmen – this time it is soldiers that will be cut. And it is soldiers that we need to engage with terror organisations, on their own soil if and when necessary.
For a long time I’ve commented that our Foreign Policy needs to be redefined, and last week it was. This week we are reducing the number of men and women available to help deliver and support those policies. These two conflicting acts are a recipe for failure and possibly a disaster.
The proposed cuts need to be rethought.