Forces: June 3, 2003


Even after successfully participating in the Iraq war, British armed forces are facing more cuts later this year. Because Britain spends a steady 2.4 percent of GDP on defense, and the current government is unwilling to raise this (there are pressing domestic needs, like fixing the national health insurance system), cuts have to be made if equipment is to be upgraded and operations like Iraq paid for. The current proposals call for a quarter of the armys tanks to be withdrawn from service, and two of the forty infantry battalions disbanded. The army has had problems recruiting, and is 5,000 men understrength. The navy is also understrength, and it's proposed that an air craft carrier, a nuclear sub and several frigates be inactivated. As many as ten warships may be taken out of service to pay for the two new carriers being built. The air force is cutting back on its purchase of new Eurofighter warplanes. 


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