Cameron’s drive to reduce the size of the Armed Forces, even to the extent that he is forcing Service chiefs to call for redundancies, is undoubtedly marking the final stages in the decline of the UK as a political power. It would be a fool, however, who did not expect this to have a knock-on effect within the Services, so the news from Thomas Harding that morale is at “rock bottom” comes as absolutely no surprise.
He tells us that this, together with concerns that the Army is in a “permanent state of decline” has led to twice as many people applying for redundancy as expected. They include several future battalion leaders and two officers singled out as potential generals. Six brigadiers have volunteered for redundancy and 48 majors, with an average of 16 years experience each, have asked to go.
The important thing here though is that we are not just talking about the over-paid and over-privileged officer corps throwing a hissy fit. The Army is expected to lose a substantial number of senior NCOs, and has also been inundated with applications from corporals, sergeants and staff sergeants.