British Troops Holiday as Budget Cuts Take Effect

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British Troops Holiday as Budget Cuts Take Effect

The British Ministry of Defense gave British soldiers an extra week of break this winter to save on utility bills. More than 100 barracks across Britain will operate on skeleton crews as the majority of the nation’s 80,000 soldiers will be sent home. Forces abroad in Canada, Germany and Kenya will also enjoy a longer break than normal. The break begins December 12 and soldiers report back on January 5.

Britain’s defense budget cuts are the main reason behind this decision to leave the barracks relatively unmanned for the extra week. The Ministry of Defense (mod) expects to save millions of pounds on heating and food costs.

Some have criticized the government for the defense budget cuts. Since 2010, the defense budget is down 8 percent. Col. Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said, “This really does send out a message about the parlous state of our finances at the moment.” Colonel Kemp was wary that the decision might destroy the Army’s preparedness for unforeseen conflicts.

This really does send out a message about the parlous state of our finances at the moment.
Col. Richard Kemp
The Labor Party’s shadow secretary of state for defense, Vernon Coaker, said, “This is a damning indictment of the government’s mismanagement of defense.”

Sadly, this is not the worst news for the British Army. If the Conservatives return to government next May, the military could see its defense budget cut by another 30-to-40 percent. This would have widespread ramifications. The military could be cut to 63,000 troops, which, according to nato standards, reduces it to a military police force. Britain would not even have an army worth mentioning. Britain would lack the personnel needed to support operations in different countries, such as Afghanistan or Iraq, or anywhere else for that matter.

According to one source, “By the time the cuts have been completed, Britain will field its smallest standing Army since the days of the wars with Napoleon 200 years ago.”

The United Kingdom is in trouble; it has not learned from its recent history. In the 1930s, the British government worked to disarm the nation while tyrants in Europe busily stoked their war machines. Today, the same thing is occurring. Russia, Iran, China, Germany and multiple other nations are firing up their war machines, while Britain is dismantling its own.

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Britain’s disarmament today is even worse than its disarmament three years before World War ii. Its defense budget for 2014 was $56 billion—less than half of its budget for 1936 ($133 billion). “The UK now becomes the unreliable ally that probably won’t be able to protect its own vital maritime interests,” said Robert Fox, a columnist for The Week. “Worse, what remains of the armed forces risk being sent off on missions for which they won’t have the requisite numbers or training.”

Forcing troops to spend an extra week on holiday shows the poor state of Britain’s defense force. This is a far cry from the empire that helped defeat Germany in two world wars. To understand why Britain has fallen so fast from its former glory, read Herbert W. Armstrong’s book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.