Armed Forces left ‘close to break­ing’ as spend­ing falls

The Daily Telegraph - - News -

♦ De­fence cuts have left the Army 20 years out of date and un­able to deal with the bat­tle­field threat from mod­ern Rus­sian forces, two re­cently re­tired chief of­fi­cers have warned MPS.

A lack of money and pol­icy of de­nial have left the Armed Forces not fit for pur­pose and at risk of “in­sti­tu­tional fail­ure”, Gen Sir Richard Bar­rons said.

The head of Joint Forces Com­mand un­til 2016 said the de­fence es­tab­lish­ment was “close to break­ing” and with­out more money “will fall over”. Adml Sir Ge­orge Zam­bel­las, First Sea Lord un­til last year, warned that the coun­try’s abil­ity to hunt Rus­sian sub­marines was “in­ad­e­quate”.

The Com­mons de­fence com­mit­tee ques­tioned the for­mer se­nior of­fi­cers amid fears of more de­fence cuts as the Min­istry of De­fence tries to find £20bil­lion in sav­ings over the next decade. A Cab­i­net Of­fice se­cu­rity re­view is also re­draw­ing de­fence pri­or­i­ties as threats from ter­ror­ism, Rus­sia and cy­ber war­fare in­crease.

Sir Richard said “de­fence is close to break­ing and un­less you put more money in it, it will fall over”.

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