The Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee has said the UK “needs to move to a war footing” warning that we “are now at war in Europe.”
The senior Conservative backbencher Tobias Ellwood has raised serious questions over the British Army and it’s capabilities.
Ellwood who is a former British Army officer warned that the British Army is in a “dire state” and has called on the government to stop the “cuts.”
A US General told the British Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that the British Army is no longer seen a high level fighting unit amid the government’s constant “swathing cuts” and Ellwood said he is “very concerned” over the state of the UK’s armed forces as they “are unable to protect the UK.”
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Speaking to Sky News the Tory chairman of the Defence Select Committee said, “The army is in a dire state. Our army is simply too small, we have cut down by 10,000 troops.
“I do hope the defence review will look at these issues and reverse some of the swathing cuts that were made a couple of years ago.
“It is up to the Treasury and Number 10 to recognise the world is changing – we are now at war in Europe, we need to move to a war footing.
“We have become complacent.
“We need to invest to make sure we retain people, the good people that are there, but there are not enough of them and the equipment is now obsolete.”
Sir Simon Mayall, former deputy chief of defence staff said that the criticism from the US over the state of the British Army will be “music to Putin’s ears.”
Speaking to Sky News Sir Simon said that Vladimir Putin would have looked at the state of the UK’s armed forces which would have been “behind his calculation” when he invaded Ukraine.
He said, “This is partly behind his calculation when he went into Ukraine.
“We still invest a lot. But we’ve got to be realistic about the threats we face.
“And I think Putin when he looked at going into Ukraine – he looked at political will, he looked at the reality of what the great armies might be able to do – must have thought I’ll factor that into my gamble.
“They [Western nations] are not ready to contribute anything other than good words for a number of years to come.”
Sir Simon added, “And what we’ve sadly proved in Ukraine is not only do you need an organisation with breadth, but you need depth as well.
“The casualties are horrendous there, and it is a war of attrition and logistics as well.
“So it’s not simply numbers of tanks or even soldiers, it’s just how much underpins it in terms of spare parts, in terms of replacement vehicles, in terms of ammunition.”
The former Armed Forces Minister Mark Francois, told senior generals and procurement minister Alex Chalk, “How can you possibly say we have a credible deterrent effect when our warfighting division is so old and so full of obsolete vehicles that you have had 20-years to replace and you have replaced none of it that we can credibly contribute to deterrence with an army which is clapped out.”
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