In a speech yesterday, Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nicholas Houghton warned that we are in danger of being left with a ‘hollowed out’ armed forces.
He expressed concerns that whilst we might have ‘exquisite kit’ before too long we wont have the men and women to operate it. Billions is being spent on two new aircraft carriers and a successor to the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent whilst at the same time, thousands of trained soldiers, sailors and airmen are being made redundant. His suggestion that spending decisions favored the UK’s Defence-industrial base rather than manpower is one for the politicians. Are they listening? I doubt it.
How’s this for a paradox. By 2018 the UK will have 82,000 regular soldiers. The capacity of Wembley stadium is 90,000.