Wednesday, January 23, 2013

MAX HASTINGS: An African crusade is lunacy when cuts have left us barely enough soldiers to troop the colour

The Government has announced its third round of Armed Forces cuts, imposing 5,300 job losses as part of a programme to reduce the British Army to a strength of 82,000 by 2017.

Yet almost in the same breath, the Prime Minister declared Britain’s support for the French military intervention in Mali, telling the House of Commons that Britain is in the midst of ‘a generational struggle’ against Islamic jihadism.

It is hard to decide which is pottier: reducing our Army to a strength at which it can troop the colour and not much else, or giving even the smallest military assistance to France’s operations in North Africa, let alone doing both at once.