Latest US Views on the British Army

It is reported that a prominent US general has told the Secretary of State for Defence, Ben Wallace, that the UK is no longer a ‘tier one fighting force’ and the British Army has a ‘diminished war-fighting capability’.

This does not surprise me one iota. The US Defence capability has been forging ahead in the past decade and we have been left behind through deliberate neglect and bungling mis-management. A classic example, which I have regularly written about, is the procurement of the next generation armoured vehicle, known as Ajax. This light tank was due to be in service now, replacing the antique Scimitar, which I operated in Norway, Denmark, Germany, England and Bosnia and is well past its sell-by date (despite several brilliant upgrades for Iraq and Afghanistan).

It is not just our equipment that has been hollowed-out. We have tremendous Special Forces and the Household Division can still put on a fantastic show, but the overall standard of physical fitness, mental toughness and commitment to the team has dropped significantly, according to senior soldiers at training regiments, who I have spoken to in 2022.

The seeds for this situation were sown before the 2010 Strategic Defence and Security Review. Unfortunately, it is not just money that will get us back to Tier One, but at least we have not yet plummeted to the depths of the 1930s, when according the late, great, Brian Horrocks the British Army at home had been reduced to a flag basis and young officers wondered whether the German Army understood that a green flag represented an anti-tank gun!

What Would He Say?

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