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.”