British Budget Cuts Threaten to Weaken Our No. 1 Military Ally
Pullback could severely limit their ability to man joint operations
By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 24, 2010 6:30 AM CDT
In this undated image made available by the British Ministry of Defence in London, Friday July 30, 2010, showing a British soldier as he interacts with an Afghan trooper, during their operation named...   (AP Photo/Corporal Gary Kendall RLC, Ministry of Defence)
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(Newser) – The Brits are about to make "brutal" cuts in their military budget, slashing as much as 20% and leaving US military experts to wonder if America's most reliable ally in combat operations will be substantially weakened. The British say the cuts won't undermine their troop commitment in Afghanistan over the next five years, but given that their combined forces are already smaller than the US Marine Corps, experts doubt that they could deploy effective forces—especially in several places at once, the New York Times reports.

The British defense minister's assurances are surprisingly tepid. “We would be able to maintain a moderate deployable force for a considerable length of time, if required,” Liam Fox told reporters. “Maybe not exactly at the level we have now, but at still a respectable and useful level.”

 

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