‘Trouble will find us, and we must deal with it,’ the British Army warns.
In light of recent developments in Afghanistan, senior officers have stated that Britain must reassess “the most revolutionary changes to the British army in 120 years.”
Smaller, more agile US-style combat brigades, led by the newly formed Rangers regiment, would be a new focus for the Army, according to plans released earlier this year. However, they include reducing the army’s size to just 72,500 soldiers, a reduction of 9,500 soldiers from the previous aim of 82,000, which top commanders say may leave it too tiny to tackle future challenges. Since May, when President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal date of US soldiers from Afghanistan without consulting partners, concerns about the extent to which future plans rely on integration with US forces have been at an all-time high.
An interoperability agreement between both navies, the appointment of a US brigadier general to the post of deputy commander of the 1 Division in 2018, and the fact that, after October, when the last Hercules transport plane is sold, Paras – who have performed so valiantly in Kabul over the last fortnight – will only be able to jump from A to B.
While senior sources admit that this integration may have been acceptable when the US and UK’s foreign policies aligned, the UK’s efforts to urge Nato partners to fill the void left by the US withdrawal imply that Britain has lost its operational independence.
The Future Soldier initiative aspires to create a more nimble “high readiness” army centered on a special operations brigade.
However, the anticipated cuts are significant, particularly the loss of 9,500 personnel.
Boris Johnson rejected any redundancies in March, saying, “If you include reserves, we’re even keeping the Army at 100,000.”
However, insiders said yesterday night that the plans would include 2,000 job cutbacks, with Lieutenant Colonels, Colonels, and Brigadiers being targeted as the command structure is revamped.
Brigades will be called Brigade Combat Teams, similar to the US Army, and will be led by a Colonel rather than a Brigadier, affecting career opportunities.
Hundreds of veteran Warrant Officers, the army’s backbone, will also receive their marching orders.
As well as at least 4,000 full-time reservists, who had previously allowed the government to supplement regular force numbers. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”