Published On: Sat, Jan 20th, 2024

‘Get a grip!’ – Top American general’s brutal warning to UK army ‘not what it used to be’ | UK | News

A top American general has said that Britain’s armed forces are “not what they used to be” amid a military recruitment crisis.

New analysis has revealed that, within two years, the army will have less than 70,000 soldiers. This has left American and European generals questioning if the UK remains a top fighting force.

If the number of troops continues dropping at the current rate, there will be only 67,741 soldiers in the army by 2026, according to the Times.

This is less than the United States’ special operations forces alone. In a year-long period ending September 2023, the army’s strength went from 79,139 to 75,983 as more soldiers left compared to those who started.

According to current trends, Britain will have only 52,000 army troops in 10 years.

A former senior US general, who did not reveal their name, said that the UK has had “diminished capabilities over the past couple of decades”, despite being seen as America’s closest ally.

They added: “While being the most important ally across the board, it is decidedly not what it used to be, regrettably.”

This comes as Secretary of Defence Grant Shapps announced he wants to get more women enlisting in the armed forces to tackle the staffing crisis.

The Royal Navy is also struggling with a drop in enlistment, which senior commanders worry could “damage” the fleet “for years” to come.

The Navy has even turned to a “refer-a-friend” scheme, according to the Mail, in a desperate attempt to bolster their numbers, with a reward of £500 per person.

This comes amid fears that we could be plunged into a new world war, with the former Commander of UK Joint Forces Command, General Sir Richard Barrons, fearing the nation would be ill-equipped.

He told MailOnline: “This feels, as I imagine, how it would have been in the 1930s before the Second World War.

“We could just be surprised and done over and that won’t be because we didn’t see the problem coming because we can – it’s on our doorstep.

“If we are at risk of being pre-conflict rather than post-conflict, then we need to do a better job about deterrence – that’s having a resilient and credible force.

“At the moment I think we’re riding our luck. That’s a thing that keeps me awake at night.”

A spokeswoman for the MoD said: “Whilst there are undoubted challenges to military recruitment, people are at the heart of the military and the MoD is taking tangible and concrete steps to address shortfalls.

“More widely, the UK is spending more than £50 billion on defence this year to protect our interests wherever they are threatened.”

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