Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told Parliament that troop numbers are kept “under constant review”.

Johnny Mercer MP asked the Prime Minister to confirm that “no directive has been issued from No.10 or the Treasury on defence numbers, on numbers of personnel, and that will continue to be the case going forward should the situation continue to change?”

The Prime Minister responded:

“We keep the actual numbers under constant review”, adding “the most important thing, Mr Speaker our troops are the best in the world but they’ve got also got to have the best equipment in the world and that is what we are paying for.”

Mr Mercer then tweeted:

“An important commitment from the PM just now [in] the House that troop numbers will be kept under review as the situation changes.. giving flexibility to grow in the years ahead. Mass matters.”

 

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
163 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
RobW
RobW
1 month ago

It isn’t a commitment. It was just a throw away comment to deflect the question and it’s inherent suggestion that we have too few soldiers.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

so as we are currently short of bodies in boots, how would you attract new blood to the forces.

we all say there to small how do we fix it.

RobW
RobW
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

First of all we need a complete rethink of the army’s structure and of that future soldier cobblers. Outline a properly thought out and integrated plan, heavy in enablers.

Increase pay and improve conditions as far as is possible. Improve housing. Sack that private company that’s messing up recruitment. Advertise everywhere with a positive message. Provide training for onward careers after they have served X years. “Join the army learn a trade for life” etc etc

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

Bravo.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

In fairness, a Heavy, Medium and Special Division + 16AA is a pretty good base line to work off of. Priority should be getting enablers in for 4 BCT, and enough PM vehicles for 4 and 7 BCT, so that we have 2x deployable divisions. Reserve assets from 4 can then go to 19 BCT.
Give the DSBCT some fangs and supports, and you have two triangular divisions then, and maybe give 11X to 6XX.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  RobW

Sums up what I have always thought. Great answer.
One thing that spurs recruiting is being able to deploy to a combat zone (not the deterrence stuff in Poland, Estonia, but warfighting), not that you can conjure up a war!

Marked
Marked
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Start by equipping them properly with all the kit they need for once! News of new kit, kit to be proud of and positivity attracts recruits.

The never ending news of poor kit, obsolete kit, non existent kit, all turns potential recruits away who don’t fancy being badly equipped cannon fodder!

Reading the never ending woes of the army’s procurement who the hell is going to attracted to making a career of it?

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Cobblers. To us, we’d all agree.

Detail any failings of Procurement on mainstream media in the last X years, I dare you.

I’ll stick a £10 into your charity, if you can.

The Press are not holding this disbased Govt to account, at all. They are free loading with glib comments and empty one offs.

The greased piglet needs roasting.

Marked
Marked
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Just recently ajax was given a slot on the tv news. I don’t watch TV though so don’t know what else they’ve covered in their propaganda broadcasts, saw the ajax piece on someone else’s TV. Seen a few pieces on BBC news website as well.

People who might be considering joining are no doubt getting a feel for the true state of affairs through forums like this one rather than the msm. What they see won’t encourage them to apply.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Might have been this. Local MP pushing for a decision.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-61785238

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

I was talking to some young soldiers last year and they were pretty open that they had joined up for the excitement of combat and to play with big toys.

If you want to solve the recruitment crisis you need to solve the big toys crisis first, the thought of going to war in granddad’s AFV, while your own is delayed for another generation, isn’t recruiting or retaining anyone.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Standard non-answer. It’s amazing how hard one has to press the decision makers to get them to change their minds on obviously bad policy.

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago

There are few options here for the Government as demands on the armed forces grow with every passing day of the war in Ukraine. I expect an increase in Army recruitment starting with around 5,0000 additional new recruits during the latter part of this year and into next. Increasing commitments by ministers will result in additional spending both on manpower and armour. Though evidence is light on the ground now, I’m sure we will see increased activity at the MOD as winter approaches and the Ukrainian war worsens?

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Is the Army able to recruit sufficient numbers now? Or is it like the US, having real problems? If the latter, with apparently 20+% of our working age population non economically active, as per the Mail, how would it recruit that number?

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Recruiting from within the UK is down 10% on the past 5 years, overseas recruitment has increased 10%. more people are interested in the Navy, then RAF and Army is bottom. recruitment is short on numbers and hasnt really moved.

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Key is to focus on retention, if can keep more then recruitment can fill the gaps

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

Gurkhas. They are seriously warry. Or the Royal Irish – warry and mental; I know, because…

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Inducements are the answer, failing that conscription, though the latter is unlikely for now. TA will most probably be pulled into the main action as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan. The news out of Ukraine is mixed and Russian advances within the current theater are paying off? Where will the dividing line be? If it’s the Polish border then Britain will have to mobilise its forces in greater numbers? I fear NATO will be asked to actively patrol an ever-increasing landmass and political gestures and false promises will be its biggest headache.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

I suspect that the issue is more fundamental in that a growing proportion of the eligible population is either not interested or unable, due to education or physical state, to join up regardless of inducements, hence as mentioned by johan above, the increasing use of overseas recruits.

I can’t see the need for “NATO will be asked to actively patrol an ever-increasing landmass” as firstly it looks increasingly unlikely that Ukraine will join and secondly that Sweden and Finland are capable of protecting themselves.

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Finland is more than capable, they have a military focused on Russia. The capital even has huge bunker systems for when Russia does a repeat of ukraine, millions could shelter while reserves are called up and by the look of it they have far more kit and munitions stored than the U.K. since peace dividend

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

NATO will patrol a greater landmass.

It’s pretty obvious.

Russia has a failed leadership… even more of a failure than the UK one.

She is becoming more and more isolated.

When will you start learning Chinese to serve your new masters?

When will you denounce the illegal invasion of The Ukraine by Russian forces?

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Thanks Barry, somehow our fellow bloggers don’t recognise
just how much NATO’s combined forces will be stretched, simply to monitor Russian activity in the coming months and years. Current Army numbers are too low if the UK means to continue as an active element within the organization, which it is.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

I don’t understand what the larger than current landmass will be, can you explain please? I’d say the Russian leadership, whatever one might think of them, are doing pretty well both militarily and economically given the forces that they face(d). Might be increasingly isolated from the Western world but not the rest. I’d say that your advice to learn Chinese is very good indeed but I am too old but more and more schools in the UK are doing just that. We are a trading nation and China will be the world power in the next 10-20 years so we… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Is that the same forces they face, just 3 months ago you were slagging down the Ukrainians saying they will last hours and days? Do you need me to cut and paste some of your previous Nazi comments johnskie? Any Nazi type head sheds can eventually make gains when they have masses of half trained cannon fodder and old shitty kit, all being expendable and no concern for losses. Eventually they will chip away at whoever they are facing, no matter the end result for the Russian people. Same as in WW2, Russia doesn’t give a hoot for its people,… Read more »

John
John
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

I think you may be confusing the Nazis with the Commies. The Commies (or Russians I suppose) were the ones sending endless waves of meat at a problem. Ze Churmans on the other hand had excellent everything. Too good some say in fact in that it’s not economical.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  John

Nope I’m not, the current Russian regime under Putin is a Nazi regime, very little difference than Hitler! As for Nazis/commies cheeks of the same arse mate!

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

If by Russian leadership I assume you mean political rather than military leadership on the basis;
(a) the war in Ukraine has eclipsed even the Charge of the Light Brigade in terms of military incompetence
(b) the increasingly long list of Russian generals and colonels that have been killed by the heroic Ukrainians

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

That is an interesting and very perceptive comment that you made by equating Ukraine’s effectiveness with our charge. Both an inevitable and terrible waste of manpower.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Well the Light Brigade did capture the cannons and wipe out many of the gun crews, but ultimately had to retreat due to the continuing fire and their heavy losses. So they initially achieved their objective but tactically a defeat.
The analogy falls down though because the Russian attacks on Kyiv, Kherson, Odesa, etc all completely failed to reach their objectives before they were forced to retreat.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

I think the debt bomb in China will have exploded by then.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

It may well do but I suspect that the US has the bigger financial problem looming now that rattled the traditional foreign buyers of Treasuries.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Those foreign buyers don’t seem too rattled given they’ve been pushing the US Dollar to record highs against other currencies… but you’re disconnected from reality with regard to military and political matters, so it’s not surprising you know nothing about finance too.
Hat trick of incompetencies!! 😆

Tams
Tams
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

He’s a simp for any authoritarian. Clearly likes the taste of boot.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

$30 trillion US national debt is a worry, but the international safe haven is still the US Dollar.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Ukraine will join just as soon as they’ve wiped out all the invading orcs on their territory. By which point we’ll have a have weaker opponent to face than currently.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

In that case the Ukrainians had better start counter attacking soon or there won’t be enough of them left to drive anyone back. The Russians seem to have increased their rate of progress west over the past couple of weeks with no sign of slowing down now they are in the more agricultural area in the north of Donetsk.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

No need, the number of Russians they’re slaughtering for every kilometre lost there won’t be anyone left to stop them when they do push back. Far better to let your opponent to keep attacking, attacking forces always have far higher casualties than defenders. Given the competence of the Ukrainian soldiers versus the Russian rape rabble then it’s not surprising the Russians are forcing teenage conscripts to the front line.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Agreed, spot on.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Does that excite you? Knowing that after months and months of dumb, simple and massively wasteful attacks by the rapist Nazi Russkies, that they are eventually gaining ground. As I have stated before, if you are running a totalitarian regime, with tons of human cannon fodder with shit loads of old, outdated but expendable kit, any clown will make gains. But you do see to still be unable to declare either the illegal invasion a special military operation, or condemn it. Sad, sad troll.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

It takes a world war to bring in conscription!

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Not really there are a number of crises that could trigger conscription.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Maurice, you answer intrigues me and you clearly know more than I on this subject. My research is that conscription was required in WW1 from 1916 to build a small professional army, augmented by patriotic volunteers to a multi-million strong army to cope with the massive numbers required for attritional warfare – and again in WW2 from 1939.The second period ran to 1960 to cope with multiple conflicts spread throughout the British Empire as the Regualr army was too small to do that alone. What crises other than the above – world wars and multiple wars during global decolonisation –… Read more »

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

The Chief of Staff has likened the current Ukrainian war to the political period of the late 1930’s. I agree with him, the fuse is still burning and as yet, no one has been able to stamp on it to stop the inevitable. Nothing but nothing is off the table in the case of recruitment and the possibility of conscription can not be ruled out either. The crisis in Europe is grave and no one knows just how this terrible conflict will resolve itself, and possibly the majority of people in the kremlin are wondering too. Putin like Boris is… Read more »

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

We’re a long, long way away from conscription, though. It would have to be an existential crisis for us to conscript.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

I have great respect for General Patrick, CGS, and worked with him in Oman. There are some strong parallels with 1937 but 2 key differences: In 1937 we had been rearming to cope with a major European war (let alone a world war) since a decision was made to do so in 1934. We have clearly not been rearming in the last 3 years, quite the opposite in fact. Putin and his army has been seriously weakened in attacking just one country and, unlike Hitler, cannot possibly have serious aims of invading multiple European countries or totally dominating the entire… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Easy really, but it doesn’t concern you, does it, and you couldn’t care less. Being a troll who refuses to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Putin. Any condemnation yet? We are all waiting, so stop trying to deflect your previous actions and comments by pretending to post on none Ukrainin articles.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

If I didn’t care I wouldn’t comment and I don’t think my comment looked “pretend”.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

You answer but never the question, so I now ask an even easier one, is the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Putin an invasion or a special operation? Come on, if your an over 70 year old Englishman from MK, why can you never answer the question?

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

Because, as I keep saying, my posting here is not dependent on doing so. Were we actually at war with Russia then that would be different. But at the moment we are pouring scarce rescources into one side of a hopeless fight in a country that we have virtually no historical or legal ties to. That in January I suspect few in the UK would have even been able to point to on a map..

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Well that comment shows your utter contempt for the British population. Our ties to the Ukraine are simple, a belief in freedom, democracy, and the rule of law. Same ties we had with Poland in 1939, though no doubt you’d have argued that we should have let Herr Hitler have what he wanted. Funny enough, I recall some Americans making those same comments about “pouring scarce resources into one side of a hopeless fight” when we stood alone against Nazi Germany and were expected to be invaded. As Ukraine has already shown, the fight in that dog is way larger… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

More bluster! Sad sad Nazi!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Few could point out the Falklands on a map before April 1982. That is not the decider as to whether we deploy forces.

We went to war in 1914 to support Belgium and in 1939 to support Poland – these might have looked like hopeless fights at the time given the strength of the opponent – but we still did it.
We are known for doing the right thing.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

More “pretentious” than “pretend” perhaps 😆

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Well, unlike your Russian army, they’re not really interested in unskilled, murderous rapists, thieves and psychopaths .

“…20+% of our working age population non economically active….”

Where did you get that word salad from?

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago

The underlying facts come from the ONS but expanded by the Daily Mail, print copy, sometime in the past week but can’t say when as our recycling day was yesterday. I should have put ‘are’ after ” population”. “My army” was made up of some of you posters here who took the Queen’s shilling , bless you. As to the Russian Army’s rapists, I assume that you noticed a month ago that the claims on that subject (the source of the lurid press articles) by Ukraine’s Ombudsman for Human Rights got her fired by their parliament as she lied, as… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by JohninMK
Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The dead cat deflection strategy eh ?? The facts are that in any Ukrainian region that is now suffering occupation by the Russian military ( or as you’d no doubt term it liberation, ), the remaining civilian population that is trying to survive in their rubble strewn homes will have to run the gauntlet of forced kidnap and abduction into Russia, summary execution, false imprisonment, rape and sexual assault, the theft of personal property and the withholding of basic human rights. All at the hands of the Russian military. This is an established fact and is self evident in Bucha,… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

Notice that JohinMK is posting around midnight? Aka normal evening hours in Moscow.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Yeah, often noticed that.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

If you think that 02.00 is normal evening hours then I’m not sure how to respond.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

How about condemning the illegal invasion of Ukraine by Putin? It would be a start!

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Er… about 02:00 in Moscow…

Normal hours for you?

The guy is a [email protected], that is SO true.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago

If that is what you believe then there is no point in me trying to change your opinion as any attempt to so so would inevitably unleash an avalanche of bile here. As this response is likely to.

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

You are confusing beliefs with facts. It is entirely factual, and has been verified by many NGO’s, journalists and the UN that warcrimes have been committed against the Ukrainian population by Russia. You do not need a belief system to know this. It is Russian artillery and rockets that are indiscriminately obliterating Ukrainian hospitals, schools, shops and housing. That you see yourself as some kind of independent thinker but have nothing to say about these facts show that you are completely untethered to any reality and wallow in whatever squalid narrative the Kremlin provides. There are unstable radioactive isotopes that… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago

Boom, methinks nothing more to say but expect an answer, but one that doesn’t address what you have said!

Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

True. As Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army once remarked, ‘They don’t like it up ’em !’

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Airborne

I’d suggest by joining the human race and condemning putin.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Bile? At least you acknowledge what you say pal! Total bile!

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Not seen A Moore or Kayaker for a while? What’s up getting to much on with your bot shop of russkie horrors?

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Hi johnskie, I’m bored so here’s a few of your previous posts: PS I can do this all day to show the shite you spew! JohninMK 7 months ago As I have said here before, I cannot understand why many posters here seem to think that Russia wants to take over Ukraine. The country is heavily in debt, its industry has collapsed since 2014, it is easily the most corrupt country in Europe with those tentacles reaching to the Biden family, whilst on top of that a significant proportion of the population hates Russia. Whilst the population of Crimea voted… Read more »

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Oh dear, you jump straight in to defend the Russkies don’t you? But you are not quite correct as that’s only part of the story, and other reports have been found to be correct. So, any chance you want to answer the question that you refuse to even acknowledge, in regard to you condemning Putins illegal invasion of Ukraine?

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Liar.

The rape atrocities along with the torture and execution of unarmed civilians have all been shown to be true and prosecutions are beginning.

That line from the Human Rights Ombudsmen is straight out of the Lubyanka via RT.

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

Lyudmila Denisova, the former Ukrainian Parliamentary Commissioner for Human Rights, was removed from her position following a vote of no confidence in the Ukrainian parliament which passed by a margin of 234-to-9.   Parliament member Pavlo Frolov specifically accused Denisova of pushing misinformation that “only harmed Ukraine” in relation to “the numerous details of ‘unnatural sexual offenses’ and child sexual abuses in the occupied territories, which were unsupported by evidence.”   In an interview published by a Ukrainian news outlet, Denisova admitted that her falsehoods had achieved their intended goal. “When, for example, I spoke in the Italian parliament at the… Read more »

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

We’re still waiting for Putin, Lavrov, and the rest of the Russian fascists to admit to their lies…

Meanwhile…

“Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Iryna Venediktova, has told the BBC she is investigating more than 21,000 war crimes and crimes of aggression allegedly committed since the start of Russia’s invasion.“
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62068417.amp

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Two sidesto every story however your side informed RT and your Russain masters. Keep yapping Putin dog, but be aware there have been thousands of rapes, murders, robberies, looting and torture since the stupid, ill trained rapists russkie military started the illegal invasion (which you support) and which have been recorded and proven. So less deflection efforts please nazi boy and have the balls to admit your own biase and agenda.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Better than the Russian armies recruitment…
But you’d know all about that….

JohninMK
JohninMK
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

You joining in with the ‘slander John the Russian troll’ are you? You are wasting the effort tapping your keyboard. That was a pathetic attempt compared to the pros around here.

Anyway you raised a point of interest, slightly on topic. Contary to your claim, as far as I can tell the Russians are having no problems at all in recruiting contract soldiers and their annual conscription went smoothly. Unlike here it seems that patriotism is still a powerful motivator.

Marked
Marked
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Recruiting is easy when you have no standards recruits need to meet…

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Marked

Agreed, but the contract soldier bit is just conscripts after 9-12 months (depending what job they weredicked for) staying on a bit longer, still half trained bags of shire mate.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Foxtrot Oscar.

People, they are the only two words needed for the replies of this [email protected]

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Slander? It has to be untrue for it to be Slander Johnsky.
Unless you are going to prove me wrong and condemn Putins invasion I’m not interested in a single word you have to say.

But I see the propaganda troll is sucking Putins cock so…

Last edited 1 month ago by Dern
Posse Comitatus
Posse Comitatus
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

You’re wrong. You’re not being slandered, you’re being called out on your specious lies and Kremlin supplied deflections. In only the most twisted and depraved mindset could mass abduction, rape, imprisonment, execution and theft against a population be considered as acts of patriotism. A patriot loves their country, a nationalist hates everyone else’s and you demonstrate so readily the base instinct of Russian nazi doctrine. You really are delusional and clueless.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Every opportunity to support your russki rapist squads. Its so obvious and so sad, and you do get a bit grumpy and angry when challenged don’t you, but never have the nads to defend your position. As for recruitment, their “contract” soldiers are just that, contracts. Not professionals, just conscripted dead wood staying on for a bit longer. The promotional scale proves how shite, after their recruitment, staying on for another 12 months can get you Sgt! FFS ha ha ha ha ha absolute shite. As for conscription, yep, conscripts are being used in Ukraine but you already know that… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Worth reading up on the history of Ukraine. Ukraine is remembering how it was brought into existence as people, converted to Christianity in the 10 century with Kyiv as its capital city. The Russians have been trying to suppress the Ukrainian people for a thousand years. They have faith. We could learn a lot from them.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kievan_Rus

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Well with the Russian economy collapsing, there’s very few other job opportunities over there. Plus it’s obvious that Russia will accept any rapist or thug who applies. They’re probably recruiting from the prisons.

Airborne
Airborne
1 month ago
Reply to  Sean

They are mate!

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The latest data on the G20, shows how ordinary people have taken a financial hit. In the UK, the gap between inflation & wage rises means the average Brit is 3% worse off. However in Russia wages have fallen 7% while inflation has hit 17%, so the average Russian is 24% worse off. No wonder they sign on for the army if no better jobs are around.

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

Any condemnation of that murderous little shit Putin yet JohninMk?

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

We’ll recruit Gurkhas, with the added benefit, they can slash the throats of Russians at night. We just got pissed on.

Sure that’ll motivate young Russians to fight for their country.

By the way, that was a section that got pissed on… our sentry had trouble walking afterwards; Russian soldiers will have trouble with gargling their blood. Enjoy.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  JohninMK

The U.K. and USA are discriminating in who they recruit to serve. Unlike Russia that conscripts teenagers and will accept any rapist thug into its ranks.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

unless senior politicians stop using weasel words we are never going to get trust back in politics. Unfortunately this Prime minister is the king of weasel words, maybe it’s because he never takes the time to understand the briefs.

Ian M
Ian M
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Maybe he only understands how to get briefs off?

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Doubtless he will pat himself on the back for a job well done at having dodged another question by way of a non-answer.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Issue is Currently THEY ARE ALL THE SAME. every Party, Starmer Moaning now about a man not convicted of anything being allowed to walk free. yet Forgets Jimmie Saville. its kind of moronic

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  johan

What’s Starmer got to do with Jimmie Saville? Its been proven that the story was incorrect and the paper responsible had to issue an apology.

Not saying Starmer is the solution but at least critise him on things he is responsible for, not make believe.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Weasel words have been around since the dawn of time. I suspect that the PM is waiting for the costings, timings & the budget. More people means more kit and when will that arrive. Boris is not paid to have his head round those things he is leaving it up to the Army like most sensible political leaders. Good thing Hitler hadn’t got his head round that or we might be chatting in German😀

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

Boris is too busy trying to keep his job right now and people resigning around him means he can’t make the tough decisions, he has to make ones that appease as many of his party as possible to keep power and what is good for the country is distant third after what is for lunch for him. Whilst I don’t rate Boris as a leader, if we have to have him, we need his party to be behind him, so he can focus on being a PM at this difficult time of insane inflation, negative GDP growth and war risk… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

That is the nature of a representatrive democracy – the PM must have the support of the house or he must resign / call an election or be dismissed by the monarch. He has the support of conservative MPs it is just manouvering by some to cleanse their own images ahead of a change of leadership by mid 2023. The trouble for the military is that Boris has stuck his neck out for Ukraine however there are and never have been votes in defence spending – why would any future PM proceed down the > 2% route. Whilst I am… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

My concern with his inability to lead isn’t just brexit related also mess of covid response, mess of not dealing with inflation rises at all, mess of constant corruption going on. However let’s face it no one voted for the brexit we got, you can’t tell me the vote was on this mess. We were promised a Norway++ model or Canada plus financial services, with huge increase in investment in the NHS and yet we got none of that, and we are still fighting over the oven ready deal, which ironically is good for NI as it’s the only area… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Comeron rather unwisely opened that can of worms. What people voted for was change rather than the status quo. That’s democracy and that’s what we got. The people will adapt and find more efficient ways of doing stuff indeed they have already started. We will resolve our differences with the EU and everyone else over time. It is in the gift of MPs to oust the PM what facinates me more and is probably taking much of their time is who will replace him. The divisions will re-open & damage the Country’s ability to deal with the very issues you… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

That’s my point they either need to get rid of him fast or back him, as this uncertainty isn’t helping the country. I’m pretty sure he will be gone within a couple of months once the new 1922 committee members have been voted in and change the rules to allow another vote of no confidence. Its hard to know what people really voted for, and I suspect a lot didn’t really know themselves, but I highly doubt it would be this mess. It is still in our government hands to fix things, all they have to do is stop playing… Read more »

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

Whilst I agree the nonsense at the moment is a distraction. However the wolves are circling – it cannot be stopped now and it will solve none of the real issues. There has been much doom and gloom spouted and I am suspicious of much of it. We have left port headed for the new world not much point getting cold feet and turning the ship around just because we hit a couple of storms. There will be far worse ahead and the reasons for leaving have not changed. Sure we have energy issues. Most in Europe do! We need… Read more »

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

I keep meaning to look into the drivers behind the oil prices, as they don’t make sense on the face of it. Wholesale/barrel prices are dropping fast, whilst at the pump they are still going up.

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve
Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

We need the price to drop to $50-$60 a barrel plus you need to allow shipping and processing time. A shortage of availblility doesn’t help. Oil companies are also being asked to re-open oil & gas facilities invest in new nuclear, renewables and much more which is not cheap.

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve

If Boris does resign I wouldn’t be surprised if there were 358 leadership candidates 😀 What a disaster – obviously all in the interests of the Country🙃

Steve
Steve
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

One of which is patel, which is just scary. We would see mass police crackdowns of any anti goverment protest and worse still for asylum seekers

Tomartyr
Tomartyr
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark B

FYI the ‘meddling Hitler ‘ myth was created by Franz Halder to save his buddies and himself after the war.
(Not exonerating Hitler, just giving blame for atrocities were blame is also due)

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Tomartyr

I was not really refering to the issue of atrocities but the micro management especially in the later parts of the war when Rommel for example would probably have made a better fist of the Normandy campaign had he been given a free hand strategically.

jason
jason
1 month ago

That was not a commitment it was spineless pathetic answer from a spineless pathetic prime minister, I think even the opposition who are even worse would actually care more about the British army than Johnson and his cronies.

Paul Corcoran
Paul Corcoran
1 month ago
Reply to  jason

We have a PM who is widely regarded as a classic case of someone who is a narcissistic sociopath. A man who many thing is morally incontinent and yet you think the opposition are worse. Is it possible to be worse than this?

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul Corcoran

.

Last edited 1 month ago by David Steeper
russ
russ
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

This is how I imagine you…”LONELY TROLL LOOKING FOR ATTENTION”

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  russ

Thank for giving me your attention. 😎

JamesD
JamesD
1 month ago

In other news interim anti-ship missiles are back on the table. Finally seeing sense it seems.

John Williams
John Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  JamesD

As the covert war with Russia worsens, expect a lot of this type of buying!

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

All those things defence cuts, sorry reviews said we did not need (armour, artillery, ground based air defence), war in Ukraine shows we do need afterall. Hard to see how we man that kit with less than 80,000 soldiers.

johan
johan
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

They are going to say, if we had brought it all 30 years ago it would all be worn out and knackered fight in a desert. cannot plan for something that might happen and you get it wrong …. Army cannot sort out decent boots

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

Do you think we have a lot of kit to man? Really?

We will soon have just 73,000 regulars, not all of whom are deployable.

I doubt we could deploy more than one or two brigades, unless we called on the army reserve for assistance.

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

GM. Its about the kit we will need, to still be credible.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  John Hartley

John, its about both kit and manpower numbers. The Americans were shocked when we cut to below 100,000 (specifically to 95,000) and even more shocked when we cut to 83,000 with many saying that we started to lack credibility as a shoulder-to-shouler ally. They doubt we could deploy a well-equipped division of 3 brigades, so have limited utility in major conflicts. They also doubted our competence in Iraq and Afghan, in part lacking due to shortage of deployed troops who were overstretched. We really needed a division for Helmand – we initially deployed just a BG(+) in 2006 then later… Read more »

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Not saying it isn’t. My point was that it is a mistake to cut the UK Army to below 80000, because bits of kit, we said we no longer needed, the Ukraine war shows that we do need it & need the troops to man it.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago

This is how I imagine most of you.
Youtube
THE MOST HILARIOUS LEFTIST MELTDOWN EVER

Colin Keeper
Colin Keeper
1 month ago

I find it very difficult to trust anything that Borris Johnson has to say!

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Colin Keeper

We shouldn’t have to listen to his lies for many more hours/days/weeks!
Dom Raab as interim PM?

Tom Keane
Tom Keane
1 month ago

Lets be honest here, the only concern the government has regarding numbers in the Army, is that they need to get rid of more, to save money, to divert it elsewhere.

The introduction of ‘private contractors’, and giving them the job of recruitment, saves money as well, as all they do, (most likely at the behest of the government) is slow the whole process down to a snails pace.

This has had the effect of putting lots of potential recruits off of joining.

Andrew Thorne
Andrew Thorne
1 month ago

How do you recruit when the lawyers pursue soldiers mercilessly for doing their job? It deters many good candidates as they are constantly looking over their shoulder wondering whether terrorists will be given a pat on the back by our human rights lawyers whilst british soldiers are thrown to the dogs and hounded in the courts. Perhaps if they forced these lawyers to do a tour of duty on the front line (preferably without body armour) then the situation on recruitment might improve. Maybe parachute all our human rights lawyers into the front line in Ukraine; especially those pursuing soldiers… Read more »

John Stott
John Stott
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

Agree totally. In a country that lets convicted terrorists off Scot free to walk, then pursues ex soldiers in their 70’s? Young people are not stupid, only a legal guarantee for new recruits and existing personnel will suffice. AND it should be written in stone so parasite lawyers cannot interfere.

ArmyBrat90s
ArmyBrat90s
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew Thorne

I have spent several years working with our youth and young adults from every background. The primary reasons over the last few years for most to discount a career in the UK armed forces are. A reputation for discrimination and ignorance towards minority groups, women and even young men. Public forum’s such as this, with some former and serving forces personal do not help to change this opinion. I have lost count of the number of times words such as “woke” “leftist” and “remainer” have all been used just on this forum alone to describe what is the vast majority… Read more »

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  ArmyBrat90s

Oh lord, the Howls of indignation, just generally offended by life itself, or just generally Woke for short.

You managed to get all the ‘key’ words in and also went down the Brexit rabbit hole for good measure.

Please don’t pretend you represent all ‘the kids’ plenty still want to serve, they aren’t all hoodwinked by champagne socialists like your goodself…. See, I can make sweeping generalisations too….

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

To think the size of the Army now we could fit them all on board a large cruise ship, surely he must stop troop cuts ✂

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago

It’s not troop numbers, it’s the way they are organised, paid, and equipped. Mercers question is as clueless as the PMs reply.

I thought Mercer was concerned about defence matters? Any number of questions on kit, capita and procurement he could have grilled them on.

He’s as bad as Lord West.

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago

I think 3 tours keeping his lads safe in Afghan and attachment to our sneaky boys would say he probably isn’t clueless on defence issues

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy a

No, of course, if he has done that he will have experience. Doesn’t mean questions like that are helpful. He’d must know then about kit issues so why ask about numbers.

Interesting I didn’t know he was ex UKSF?

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago

Technically he did attachments with them

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy a

Yes, just looked him up. A JTAC type role while with 29. He also passed the AACC so fair play.

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago

He seems to do what he can for veterans and military but hard when most of them prefer benefits to defence

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

No point increasing troop numbers if we don’t equip them.

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

It’s going to be hard to get back up that ladder if there don’t put money back in 💰

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Andrew D

And that is the burning question, after months of silence, the government proudly announces 2.5% GDP on Defence….Then the catch, at some point, two parliament’s down the road, so basically it’s a promise of absolutely sod all… If they we’re serious, they would provide 2.5% right now and and announce a new SDSR. The billions extra ( right now) would be a shot in the arm for underfunded current programs, build up stocks of spares and munitions and hopefully stop the brain drain from the Armed forces via flexible selective engagement initiatives and bonus payments. A sensible knee jerk reaction… Read more »

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Yep it’s a road to no were 🛣

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

Meaningless soundbite. Answers no questions, solves no problems or issues. Boris bluster.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago

That’s fine, as long as the number is reviewed upwards and is done so quickly.

Let’s get back to around 85-90,000 troops in the army, and focus on giving them some fangs:

– Upgrade all Challenger 2 to C3 rather than 148
– Get Ajax sorted or scrapped, refunded and replaced
– More artillery
– More helicopters – both Apache and Wildcat or medium helicopter e.g. AW149.
– More air defence

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

I agree with all of that except we should have 120,000 in the Regs as this was the figure set after careful study for the post-Cold War period – everything after that was cuts to save money.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

I agree, but realistically not going to happen anytime soon. Reversing cuts and maintaining at least 85,000 would be olay for now.

If Russia were to prevail in Ukraine then that might provide some impetus to boost army numbers.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Looking at the news today, Ben Wallace is the bookies’ favourite to become the next Prime Minister.

Would be great if, if he did become PM he does make sure defence gets funding to grow and equip the army – well, all three forces.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

True, unless he has a penny pinching Chancellor! Penny Mordaunt and Tom Tugendhat would also help Defence.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Maybe that should be it then; Ben Wallace as PM and Penny Mordaunt as Chancellor.

I don’t know anything about Tom Tugendhat, so can’t comment on him.

Stc
Stc
1 month ago

Conscription is a great idea, it will wake up the spoilt generation and you could start by handing out the first 30000, call up papers to those who arrived on dinghy’s. Watch Frances reaction when they all start paddling back !

Fen Tiger
Fen Tiger
1 month ago
Reply to  Stc

And who is going to train all these new conscripts and where are the facilities so to do? All sold off for a quick buck for the Treasury.

Stc
Stc
1 month ago
Reply to  Fen Tiger

I am told that the British army was smaller 12 months before WW1 than it is today. Recall all those who left in the last 5 years would be my first step.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Stc

Because Russia’s done so well with a conscript army, haven’t they?

Conscription will cost more and produce poor-quality soldiers who don’t want to be there.

The best thing to do is focus on improving recruitment and also retention.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Fen Tiger

Precisely. A large conscript army needs lots of training barracks, regular army training staff, training areas, ranges, uniforms & personal kit, weapons (personal and crew-served), vehicles of all types, special-to-role kit….
We don’t have such assets & resources.