Former Chief of the General Staff of the United Kingdom Criticises Military Downsizing

Lord Dannatt has asserted that the United Kingdom has neglected its ground forces, prioritizing warfare through modern technologies.

10/08/2023 - 19:52
Source: UK Ministry of Defence
Source: UK Ministry of Defence

The former head of the UK's General Staff has criticized the Ministry of Defence's plan to reduce military forces, as reported by citing The Telegraph.

In Dannatt's view, soldiers must continue to play a pivotal role on the battlefield despite the increasing prominence of drones and artificial intelligence.

Last month, a Ministry of Defence document was published, asserting that future conflicts would require fewer boots on the ground due to the proliferation of artificial intelligence. This rationale has driven a reduction in troop numbers by an additional 10,000 personnel and a decrease in the number of combat tanks from 227 to 148. Consequently, the UK's armed forces have shrunk from 300,000 personnel in 1990 to 72,000.

Lord Dannatt voiced his dissent against this decision, underscoring that a preference for new methods of warfare should not come at the expense of established ones.

"While it is important, of course, to embrace new ways of warfare and modern technologies, it does not mean that the old ways have become obsolete. This is evidenced by events in Ukraine. Yes, high technology is indeed a key part of this war, whether it's drones, satellite imagery, or enhanced communication – all of that is indeed important. But there is still a place for old-fashioned face-to-face combat. Thus, the contemporary approach to warfare will be a combination of new and old methods. The new complements the old but does not replace it."



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