UK military cuts to hurt NATO: US general
The UK should stop making more cuts to its armed forces before hurting its position in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a top US general has warned.
Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, the commander of the US Army in Europe, expressed concerns about the British Ministry of Defense’s plans for making £20 billion of efficiency savings.
If the UK "can't maintain and sustain the level of commitments it's fulfilling right now, then I think it risks kind of going into a different sort of category," the general said. "I don't see how you could maintain those global commitments if you got any smaller.”
The government has already reduced the Army regular troops from 120,000 to 82,000. However, due to the difficulty of recruiting new staff, that number has even decreased to just over 78,000.
The American general made the remarks ahead of new UK Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson’s meeting with James Mattis, his American counterpart, during his first NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels.
All three branches of the British armed forces have been asked to come up with a list of options for cuts as part of the Ministry of Defense’s struggles to control spending through an overall review.