A New Waterloo


Something crazy is happening in government circles within Britain and America. At the very time that this world is experiencing an escalation of “hot spots” perceived as needing military intervention or support from British and American forces, their combined manpower is shrinking drastically.

Hard on the heels of reports of the “hollowing” of U.S. military strength comes a report from Britain claiming that they are losing the equivalent of two infantry battalions a year. Troops are leaving the forces at an increasing rate. Defense budget cuts over this decade have whittled army strength down to its lowest point since the return of Lord Wellington’s troops from the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

Britain’s overstretched army has manned the breech in all of the major skirmishes of this current decade—the Persian Gulf, Bosnia, Kosovo—and contributed to a number of humanitarian relief enterprises in Africa. So stretched is the thin red line of British steel that the government intends to draw down its force in Kosovo, barely before the “peace process” has engaged.

To make matters worse, the army, akin to every British institution, is losing its history and heritage through the dissolving of some of its finest old brigades which fought to glory in some of the most famous battles of the British imperial experience. The lion’s claws are progressively being drawn. Soon the nation which once only had to roar for the whole world to sit up and take notice will barely be able to give a whimper at the sound of battle.