To follow up on my previous post on British defense cuts, it is worth noting that the Cameron government is planning to cut the British army from 101,000 soldiers to 82,000–the lowest level in a century. At the Kings of War blog, Rob Dover of Kings’ College, London, notes that this will radically change Britain’s strategic capabilities. He writes:
The cuts to the army mean we could only be involved in Afghanistan OR Iraq. That’s not mid-sized military power stuff. That’s a serious diminution of the ability to project power and influence in both absolute terms (kinetic) [and also] in soft-power terms. Why would the U.S. (aside from intelligence liaison) be interested in the British view?
While it may mean we will be less interested in the British view in the future it will also mean we will be able to count on less support from the British too. This is a sad day for Britain, America–and the entire West. The British army, guardians of freedom for centuries, is now being reduced to next-to-nothing–and by a Conservative government to boot.