A senior US general recently warned British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace that the British military is no longer regarded as one of the world’s best armed forces, according to a report on Sunday.
The source told Wallace that decades of cuts to Britain’s military defenses have eroded the country’s combat capabilities, Sky News reports.
The source is quoted as saying, “The bottom line…it’s a whole service that the UK and our allies can’t protect for a decade.”
Another reportedly said there was a greater sense of urgency for the UK to revive its military in the wake of Russia’s continued military aggression against Ukraine.
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The Sky News report provides details on the British military to paint a picture of what the country is facing. For example, the majority of armored vehicles were built between 30 and 60 years ago and “complete replacement will not be needed for years”.
The US general is said to have told Wallace that the British army is not a “first” force like the United States, Russia, China or France and “barely” second rank.
The need for the UK to modernize its military comes even as the country has pledged to continue supporting Ukraine in its fight against Russia.
Earlier this month, the UK promised to send tanks to Ukraine after Kiev fell victim to yet another rocket attack and as the heavy ground war in Ukraine’s Donbas region continued.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he would send Challenger 2 tanks and additional artillery systems to Ukraine after a Saturday talk with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
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A US defense source would say that Sunak’s “wartime approach at present is to cut off, further erode the military by [equipment to Ukraine] and with no plans to replace [the weapons] for five to seven years.”
Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.