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Chief of the Defence Staff warns Britain faces ‘gathering storm’ of threats

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Chief of the Defence Staff, warned that Britain must ‘evolve, modernise and adapt’ to cope with budget cuts.

In an interview with Sky, Sir Stuart said:

“There is a gathering storm (with) the combination of the expression of terrorism across the globe, with state-on-state competition which is the reality before us, with the outlaw activity by regimes such as the North Korean regime, then you can see that sense of darkness.”

This comes amid reports that officials are considering cutting 1,000 Royal Marines as they try to deal with a gap in funding of between £20 billion and £30 billion over the next decade.

Two amphibious assault ships are also reportedly under threat.

MoD figures showed 78,407 full-time and fully trained troops, compared with the government’s target of 82,000.

Sir Stuart said:

“I would be absolutely wrong to say we don’t have an issue with recruiting. We are 4,000 below. That’s a matter of public record and we’re doing all we can to improve.”

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David A-H
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David A-H

£20 to £30 billion over a decade? The first priority of the Government is defence of the realm. Why not simply increase income tax. Money in its self it’s not always the answer but I for one would happily pay more income tax so we could have well run and well resourced services including defence.

Mike Saul
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Mike Saul

Of course we adapt to the new set of circumstances and one of those is saying we can no undertake missions that were part of our core capability set.

The politicians must realise if they cut budgets then they cut capability and they must take ownership of that choice and not expect the military to undertake tasks for which they are not resourced.

At the end of the day it’s the voters who decide which politicians are in power

Jonathan
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Jonathan

Unfortunately Mike it the one thing politicans of all colours always do. They refuse to make unpalatable choices and be honest about them. They just provide unsustainable budgets and blame the public servants when it all goes belly up. I could get behind a politician who said. Look you are only willing to pay this much tax, for that you require us to defend, educate, keep you healthy, clean your streets, provide a safety net, control crime etc…… Because of that you are actually going to have to wait this long for your knee op and we are going to… Read more »

Ian
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Ian

Mr Peach left me cold.

Didn’t stand up for anyone; acknowledge current service personnel or explain choices then sold his staff down the river on pay.

Could have been Fallon speaking

David
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David

I truly think the ACM’s warnings will fall on deaf ears within government and be seen as another rant by the military brass all the while missing the warning. At some point the constant stream of cutting will come home to roost. Our potential future foes are getting stronger as we willfully allow ourselves to become weak – to the point now that even the US has openly voiced deep concern. We have this mistaken belief that we will only ever act as part of a coalition (and by that I mean we will never act without the US). Why… Read more »

barry white
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barry white

I know this will fall on deaf ears but if these warnings by the top brass wont make the government realise what they are doing why dont the top brass and even lower ranking officers threaten to resign on mass
I know a lot of you on this site think this is stupid of me but to be honest the only way to get things sorted is to demonstrate to the government the enormity of what is happening

Lee H
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Lee H

Afternoon all Like I said in an earlier post look for words like “A difficult rebalancing of resources to meet requirements, whilst painful are the right decisions at the right time to align ourselves better to the threats ahead. With an increasing defence budget and committed spend of £178bn we are showing that we can make tough choices, agreed by all the chiefs of defence staff and endorsed by the Prime Minister. For those in the armed forces who today have been affected by the rebalance I can assure you that these choices were not taken lightly and we will… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Sadly I agree. Flowery spin from MoD.
Even back in 1995 with Front Line First they then cut the front line, and waved a few Carrots in the air.
One such Carrot, BVRAAM, is not even in service yet!

Geoffrey Roach
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Geoffrey Roach

U K security review postponed. Now likely to be reporting in 2018

Rob
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Rob

i really hope this is good news and the S of S is pushing for more funds. Could just be that he doesn’t feel he can make decisions on cuts at the moment as he is new in the job.

Tim
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Tim

There are 4 groups of people in this country.
1. The general public who only learn of military matters when sensationalist stories hit the top of the popular press. They generally don’t like what they read and think the government are not doing a good enough job.
2. Blog readers who study the military and also think the government are not doing good enough job.
3. The government and serving senior officiers who say everything is fine.
4. Retired senior officiers who say the government is not doing a good enough job.
Stuart Peach is a 3, but soon to be a 4.

barry white
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barry white

Hence my comment

Rob
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Rob

5. The THs of this world….

David
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David

HA!! Nice one Rob! ??

Mr Bell
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Mr Bell

There are 2As) bloggers who actually read history, study military weapons, capabilities and tactics and have a history of serving in or with the military and there are 2Bs) bloggers that like to think they know about the military, weapons programmes and procurement but actually have zero knowledge or expertise. There is also 6) Russian, North Korean or Chinese 5th columnists like TH. Who like to belittle and downgrade the UK and try to prevent the British lion roaring again. Do not worry though the nice men from MI5 and MI6 will be coming round to see you soon…knock knock… Read more »

FrankLT
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FrankLT

The threats & risks increase but HMG continues to cut MOD budgets. There will be money for the MP salary rise well above inflation whilst the rest of the public servants get 1%.

The only thing difficult in the choices HMG makes is how to sell it to a gullible public & how to cope with their hypocrisy, cynicism & reckless endangerment of the nation & servicemen.
Who in parliament will beat the drum for the forces?

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Nigel Farage. But he cannot get in.

Tim62
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Tim62

@Daniele
Thank god, Farage is frankly Putin’s fellow traveller and has done enormous harm to the Uk as it is. He is not a serious politician (just look at his perfomances
in the EU parliament, truly they make you ashamed to be British).
best Tim

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Will have to disagree there Tim. I think his performances in the EU Parliament are sensational, saying exactly what many think, telling EU “Presidents” who no one has ever heard of or even voted for exactly where their corruption and folly lies, and he has more common sense, charisma, patriotism, and loyalty to our nation in his big toe than all the rest of the mainstream parties charlatans put together. I also add that as UKIP won the European Elections he is doing rather well telling the EU what for and exposing the EU for what it is. Now I… Read more »

Pacman27
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Pacman27

I have to ask where is the leadership in all this, we have decimated a military that not only provides high quality workers to the private sector, whilst supporting some of the most deprived areas of the UK with work in manufacturing or supporting bases. Not to forget those people from poor backgrounds where the military changes their lives forever and gives them an opportunity to “escape”. There is something to be said about the importance of the military in the UK that isn’t just about them protecting us from enemies, it is actually integral in maintaining our culture and… Read more »

Lee H
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Lee H

Morning
Before the budget is increased MoD has to prove it can properly allocate the money it is already awarded. MoD reports underspend year on year so it is very difficult to go to Treasury and ask for more.
You are correct WRT deterrent though, needs to be taken back out of the settlement

Dave Branney
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Dave Branney

Yes, there is a serious problem with non-commissioned recruitment across all three services. A number of issues that have been highlighted before but a number haven’t. The youth of today are not stupid and are very much of the opinion of: “If I do this what can I get out of it?” There is no doubt over their capabilities or their duty to do what is required when the time comes – Afghan being a prime example of the valour and courage that they have displayed. As it stands these are the issues that I think are part of the… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
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Daniele Mandelli

Excellent post.

Pacman27
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Pacman27

Lee and Dave Totally agree with both your comments – it is clearly a complex issue and I am an advocate of a single USMC/IDF/ADF force structure with fully audited accounts (like the USMC). I am pretty good with numbers and it seems to me that double counting occurs on support/maintenance and infrastructure line items. I also think 8 super bases that can each hold a single division (20k troops) and their families are invested in (we already probably have 4) so that investment in infrastructure, homes and facilities can be targeted correctly and raised to the highest standard in… Read more »

FrankLT
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FrankLT

Good points made by all. A worthy & worthwhile military career demands proper reward for putting your neck on the line.

Mildenhall is actually in Suffolk btw.

Mrs Pat Collins
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Mrs Pat Collins

Interesting to read all the (male)comments.
How many of them could really do any better??