According to the plan of the UK Ministry of Defence, further reductions are envisaged.
General Sir Tim Radford, Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe (DSACEUR) of NATO forces in Europe, has stated that the UK's position as a leading member of the organization may come into question after years of defense cuts, as reported by Sarbaz.kz citing The Daily Telegraph.
The General noted that over the past decade, the number of regular soldiers has decreased from 97,000 to 73,000 personnel. Furthermore, according to the UK Ministry of Defence's plan, further reductions are planned.
"It seems to me that our army is not large enough. We need to grow. We risk not being able to hold ourselves. To say that we are living completely off the legacy of the past would be incorrect, but we must be very vigilant not to plunge into a deep crisis. We have significant influence within NATO, we hold a favorable position here. I am concerned that if we don't invest in strengthening our army, establish our own production base, and demonstrate leadership, we may lose this position."
Former Chief of the British Armed Forces, Lord Houghton, supported General Radford's statement. He emphasized that recent conflicts have shown the need for troop numbers. However, since 2010, defense funding has continued to decrease to cover expenditures for government programs.
According to General Radford, Western nations have largely forgotten about intense combat operations, overly focusing on counterterrorism efforts post-9/11. He noted that the focus should not solely be on innovation and cybersecurity, which he believes should complement rather than fully replace the combat force.