“The “Army of the future” will see £23 billion of investment. This will include upgrades to tanks and armoured vehicles, rockets, air defence, tactical surveillance drones, and new electronic warfare and cyberspace capabilities. However, with that will come cuts to both personnel and equipment.
As revealed by The Telegraph ahead of the Integrated Review, the size of the Army will be reduced to 72,500, from the current full time trade trained soldiers of 76,000, by 2025. This part of the Ministry of Defence’s pledge to create a “leaner, more lethal, nimbler” Army.” Telegraph.
“The army is setting up a special operations brigade for missions abroad as ‘Global Britain’ seeks a broader military footprint with new and traditional allies outside Europe.
A Ranger regiment will form the core of the new force which will engage in combat, as well as carry out training, with the aim of signing a series of defence agreements and setting up a string of international bases.
The announcement of the new force came ahead of a command paper due out on Monday which will lay out details on military restructuring following the Integrated Review into defence, security and international relations policies.
The review stated that as part of post-Brexit Britain broadening its horizons, forces would be deployed more frequently and for longer periods overseas.
The Ranger regiment, a thousand strong unit comprised of four battalions, will be tier two special forces supporting the SAS and SBS, and the new brigade will be deployed to the “most contested environments”.”
“Nick Smith, a Labour backbencher, persisted. He asked Mr Johnson exactly how he would go about cutting 10,000 soldiers from the Army.
The PM retorted that the Government was about to make “the biggest investment in our Armed Forces since the Cold War”. Again, no mention of the 10,000. From which fact only one inference could be drawn: the story was true. By saying nothing, Mr Johnson had said it all.
All the same, the news still needed official confirmation, and today (Monday) it fell to Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, to deliver it. In a statement to the Commons, Mr Wallace said that, by 2025, the number of soldiers would fall to 72,500. (Strictly speaking this wasn’t a fall of 10,000 – if only because the Army was already several thousand soldiers short of its “established strength” of 82,000.)” Telegraph
Comment: Well, well, Pilgrim Turcopoles, this will be a considerable change in the UK armed forces. It will be a big change in equipment and manning but also a radically different conception of the mission of these forces. In the recent past the UK armed forces been devoted to a territorial defense of the UK and its remaining overseas territories. Within that context an effort was made to participate in expeditionary efforts in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. That must have been a tremendous strain employing small forces not well adapted to these missions.
Now these forces are being re-shaped and re-purposed specifically to make them more useful in overseas covert action, advising foreign forces and a wide variety of small missions abroad. In this new configuration the UK armed forces will IMO be miniature version of the forces of the US.
I ask myself why the British think they should be doing this. Is this a belated response to the persistent urging of the Trump Administration for broad spectrum support from those we consider to be our allies?
Do the British reckon that they will assume leadership roles in future operations? Perhaps they will. The US has allowed its forces to decline in the average quality of senior leadership; careerism, infiltrating political wokism, a search for “social justice” resulting in such foolishness as women infantry officers, such things have greatly degraded the fighting ability of US forces and the decline seems likely to continue.
The British clearly want to “punch above their weight” in world affairs. Their abilities in Information Operations are impressive and the function is widespread within their government. This capability will mesh well with that effort.
This may be a good thing from the US point of view. pl