MPs Raise Fears Over Cuts To Army
Plans to cut soldiers could leave the Army “short of personnel” and unable to meet future national security needs, a report by MPs has warned.The Commons defence select committee also voices “surprise” at the lack of consultation over the Army 2020 plan.
Under the plan, personnel numbers will be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2018, with a doubling of reservist numbers.
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said it would ensure the Army was a “flexible and agile force”.
The number of part-time soldiers, or reservists, is to be doubled from 15,000 to 30,000, but the Army is still a long way off from meeting its targets and the MPs’ report says there is scepticism that it will be able to recruit the numbers it needs.
Overall, the report echoes a familiar theme: the cuts to the armed forces have been driven by the need to save money, rather than any strategic vision of Britain’s place in the world.