The latest revelations about the state of Britain’s military come on the heels of other reports claiming that the island nation’s navy and air force personnel numbers are also too low to successfully fight a war.
The British Army is experiencing a chronic manpower shortage, according to a leaked Ministry of Defence report obtained by The Daily Mail.
The internal document, marked as “sensitive,” reportedly says that all but one of the Army’s 33 infantry battalions are short of the manpower needed to defend Britain. Further, key frontline military units only have half at best of the personnel needed to deploy for military operations.
According to The Mail, the British Army’s disastrous condition has been blamed on years of poor salaries for soldiers and the decision to outsource recruitment to a private firm. The Army agreed to a 10-year recruitment contract with the company Capita in 2012, a move which was subsequently slammed as “naive” by the House of Commons’ Public Accounts Committee.
Many have expressed surprise that, despite the shortfall in personnel numbers, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has committed itself to further reducing the size of a number of infantry battalions as part of a review of long-term British strategy.
Colonel Richard Kemp, a British Army officer who commanded the country’s forces in Afghanistan, called the decision to hand over the recruitment contract to…