As Russia brings war to Europe, the number of troops serving in the UK will be reduced to “the lowest level since the Napoleonic Wars”, a Tory MP has warned.
Boris Johnson was asked yesterday by the Commons Liaison Committee whether he might reconsider planned defense cuts in the current “era of uncertainty.”
Speaking on behalf of fellow Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, Tom Tugendhat highlighted cuts in the RAF’s F-35, Typhoon and Hercules fleets, the number of Army tanks and fighting vehicles and a reduction in Army troops by 10,000 to 72,500 by 2025. He asked if the government planned to revisit the landmark Integrated verification for Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, which was released last March amid the new “looming threats”.
But Johnson responded that the review, which laid out plans for defense cuts and restructuring, “was spot on in the priorities it set out for the country.”
Ellwood, chair of the Commons Defense Select Committee, had previously warned that the cyber defense improvements proposed in the review come at a “heavy price for our conventional defense posture, with dramatic cuts in our troop numbers, tanks and armored fighting vehicles.” . For example, the review proposed reducing the British Army infantry to 19,400 troops by 2024-25.
Last week at Rishi Sunak spring declaration ruled out any additional support for the military, despite pressure for an increase in defense funding and predictions that it would be included. The chancellor “rejected calls from cabinet colleagues and others to reconsider the fall spending review and put more money into the military,” he noted i news Side? site.
Labor shadow Defense Secretary John Healey said so despite the Ukraine warSunak’s statement “had no halt to army cuts, no review of defense spending, no reform of military procurement, and no change in actual daily spending cuts by the Defense Ministry.”
The newest Department of Defense Figures for the armed forces, which includes the Army, RAF, Navy and Marines, show that there were 137,070 full-time trained soldiers in January. Around 14,160 people left the UK armed forces in 2021, an 11.5% increase over the previous 12 months.
Cuts in military personnel are nothing new. In 2010, the Strategic Defense and Security Review recommended that all three British forces reduce their numbers.
As well as statistics pointed out that Britain “is today engaged in far fewer conventional military conflicts than in the past” and “as the size of the British empire declined rapidly after 1945, so did its global military obligations”.
However, in response to the conflict in Ukraine, calls for an increase in troop levels are growing louder, he said Forces.net.
During a debate on defense spending in the House of Commons earlier this month, Tory MP Bob Stewart said: “The only thing the Russians are showing is that you have to put boots on to conquer territory and guess what – let’s throw our boots out. It is appalling, we must reverse this decision.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/defence/956277/the-size-of-the-uk-armed-forces-examined The size of the British forces examined