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Monday, February 26, 2024

Great Britain. Report of the British Defense Committee – “Ready for war?”. Disturbing findings

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On Sunday, the report of the British House of Commons defense committee entitled “Ready for War?” was published. In it, MPs warn that Britain’s armed forces will not be ready for a “high-intensity” war if staff and equipment shortages are not quickly resolved.

The commission noted that personnel are leaving the military faster than new ones are being recruited, and the situation may be even worse than the Defense Ministry has admitted, saying that for every eight people leaving the armed forces, only five are being recruited. MEPs stressed that the offer for potential recruits must be improved so that this “vicious circle” can be broken and Great Britain could face “increasingly difficult” threats.

“Ready for war?”

In a report titled “Ready for War?” MEPs wrote that the armed forces, treating it as a “matter of national pride”, find a way every time they are asked to act, but “excessive strain negatively affects the readiness to conduct high-intensity warfare due to the sheer pace operations and other obligations.

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They admitted they were “increasingly concerned” about the crisis in recruiting and retaining both regular staff and reservists, with operational demands making recovery and training difficult. As a result, “it is no surprise that more people are leaving the armed forces than joining them.” The report said that while the government recognizes this problem and plans to address it, it is not yet moving at pace.

British engineering troopsdefenseimagery.mod.uk

Another area that was highlighted was that the £1.95 billion allocated to increasing ammunition stocks in last year’s budget may be used to meet existing resource shortfalls rather than to replenish and increase capabilities. MPs called on the Ministry of Defense to reconsider the allocation of money promised in the budgets presented in autumn 2022 and spring 2023.

The committee also called for improved procurement processes to increase the UK’s industrial capacity and munitions production, both in context conflict in Ukraine, as well as any future war. This should include keeping retired equipment “even semi-remanufactured.”

The British Defense Committee noted that personnel were leaving the army faster than new ones were being recruitedShutterstock

The country’s combat readiness is in question

Former deputy defense minister Jeremy Quin, who chairs the committee, described the armed services as a “world-class fighting force” whose personnel have shown “tremendous courage and resilience, responding unflinchingly to a range of crises and threats around the world, never wavering in their commitment to protect our nation.”

But he said a “steady, ongoing rash of operations and ongoing commitments,” along with declining staff retention levels and a period of low recruitment, had undermined the country’s combat readiness.

Main photo source: defenseimagery.mod.uk

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