Armed Forces left ‘close to breaking’ as spending falls
♦ Defence cuts have left the Army 20 years out of date and unable to deal with the battlefield threat from modern Russian forces, two recently retired chief officers have warned MPS.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”.