The head of the British army has issued a dire warning about the state of the armed forces in the context of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Given the current low levels of recruitment, increasing numbers of service men choosing to leave, and the escalating rate of casualties in both Iraq and Afghanistan, this is perhaps not that surprising.
From This is London
Britain has virtually no soldiers left to fight abroad or defend the country if there is an ‘unexpected’ development, the head of the Army has told his senior officers.
General Sir Richard Dannatt made his dire assessment in a letter to high-ranking commanders, saying that reinforcements – should they be required – are ‘now almost non-existent’.
General Dannatt, who is well-known for his outspoken comments, issued a private memo declaring that ‘we have almost no capability to react to the unexpected’.
He said that the Army is understrength by 3,500 troops and that only one battalion of 500 troops – known as the ‘spearhead lead element’ – is immediately available to deal with emergencies such as a terrorist attack.