UK ‘will never achieve warfighting’ army amid unpreparedness for war

The UK Army Force is facing a series of challenges and misplaced priorities obstructing its war capabilities as the country drags itself into one.

  • A British soldier sits in an AS90 and takes part in a military exercise with Ukrainian soldiers at a military training camp in an undisclosed location in England, Friday, March 24, 2023 (AP)

The UK lower house committee revealed on Sunday that the country’s armed forces are unprepared for a potential extensive war due to military personnel shortages, recruitment and retention issues, and growing security challenges. 

The committee released a report and stated “The Government will never achieve warfighting or strategic readiness without a thriving industrial base and without an offer that can attract, develop, and sustain enough service personnel skilled to meet the increasing and evolving military challenges that we as a nation face. These reforms need to work and at pace.” 

The army has been partaking in heightened military operations and experiencing “unrelenting pressure” that has downsized retention and recruitment, causing a discrepancy encapsulated by more people leaving the service than those joining it. 

The report then made recommendations suggesting that the UK invest more in military ability expenditure or shift its priorities based on what its army force can provide. 

The UK deploys its military forces in the Middle East

In this context, it is vital to mention the UK’s participation in several military operations that could have taken a toll on its army. 

The UK is a significant part of the US-led maritime coalition, Operation Prosperity Guardian, which has militarized the Red Sea in an attempt to protect “Israel” and deter the Yemeni Armed Forces, but in vain. The UK has also been leading a series of attacks on Yemen.

According to Declassified UK, an investigation showed that the UK military has flown 50 espionage operations over Gaza since the beginning of December to help “Israel”.

The information-collecting missions are carried out by Shadow R1 surveillance aircraft that take off from Britain’s controversial Akrotiri air station in Cyprus.

Britain maintains two “Sovereign Base Areas” on Cyprus, Dhekelia in the east and Akrotiri in the west, which are enormous, highly covert military and intelligence complexes covering 3% of the island’s geographical area and historically used for UK bombing missions in the Middle East and its complicity in the war on Gaza.

In early December, the UK’s Defense Ministry announced it would start conducting surveillance flights over Gaza, occupied Palestine, and the Eastern Mediterranean, claiming that operations aim to locate sites of captives held by the Palestinian Resistance.

One week after October 7, the UK government announced that it had increased its military presence in the Middle East by deploying two Royal Navy ships, spy hardware, and an additional 1,000 personnel “to support Israel, reinforce regional stability and prevent escalation.”

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