According to U.K. defense sources, the country’s military is no longer equipped to defend the nation or participate in NATO, according to a report from Sky News.
Sky News cites several British defense sources who express concern over Britain’s military decline, with one warning that the forces are “unable to protect the U.K. and our allies for a decade.”
A high-ranking U.S. general reportedly told the British defense secretary that Britain’s military is “barely tier two.”
British defense sources have criticized the Conservative Party’s approach to the military, stating that the party has seen the military and police as easy targets for cuts since they took office in 2010.
Defense has not been a priority for the party, as the green agenda and foreign aid have largely been spared from cuts.
Tobias Ellwood, a senior Conservative Party member and head of the House of Commons Defense Select Committee, said that years of cuts have left the armed forces in a “dire state.”
He stated, “Our army is simply too small, we have cut down by 10,000 troops.”
Ellwood emphasized the need for investment to retain personnel and upgrade equipment, highlighting the poor state of Britain’s tank fleet.
“We need to recognize the world is changing,” he said. “We are now at war in Europe, we need to move to a war footing.”
“History will look back at the choices they make in the coming weeks as fundamental to whether this government genuinely believes that its primary duty is the defence of the realm or whether that is just a slogan to be given lip service,” added a British defense source.