Rishi Sunak has promised to shift the UK's military effort to 2,5 % you PIB. To compare, In the last news, France aims 2 % pour 2025. In office since 2019, Ben Wallace, the Minister of Defense, had already obtained, in 2021, the biggest budget increase since the cold war, which has made it possible to increase its current budget to approximately 60 billion euros annually. And he just got an extension from 5,6 billion for two years. It's half of what he expected. There was danger in the military residence.
“It will take ten years for the UK to replenish its stockpile of weapons depleted by deliveries to Ukraine. " Early March, Tobias Ellwood, former officer and chairman of the Commons Defense Committee, officially sounded the alarm. The British Army's picture is 'really grim', he hammered. The portrait painted by French military experts of their counterparts is just as worrying.. Her Majesty's Army could no longer perform force projection, nor a fortiori a high intensity operation. Even NATO is questioning its ability to assume its role as the Alliance's rapid reaction force next year, replacing the Germans.
The significant support provided by London to kyiv is too much of a penknife for a military tool that has been reduced to a trickle after the expensive Iraqi adventure, completed in 2011. The slimming diet then undergone by the Army was accentuated with the decisions resulting from the Integrated Review in 2021. Priority given to “innovative” weapons (satellites, drones, robots, electronic and cyber warfare) was paid for by a historic reduction in its format. Showing today 73 000 men, the land force was reduced by almost 10 000 soldiers. In reality, it is probably much more, because a third of the positions are now allocated to reservists, many remain vacant.
What he had left of heavy means, whose 150 chars Challenger 2 which will be modernized (against 220 Leclerc in France), was concentrated in the 3rd Division. The remainder of the light units, including special forces, joined the 1st division, which is entirely dedicated to counter-insurgency. It is this unit that provides the 8 000 men that London deploys in Eastern Europe. It was she who formed more than 20 000 Ukrainian soldiers in 2022, after the 30 000 upgraded on site between 2014 and the outbreak of war. “What happened to our best partners is exactly what awaits us tomorrow if the military programming law sacrifices too much mass”, warn the French soldiers.
Real institutions across the Channel, the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy were saved from decline by a financial effort started before 2021. Their rise to power is slow, however., so gaping were the holes and lost skills. The Navy had to call on American shipyards to complete the construction of its new nuclear submarines. Its two brand new aircraft carriers multiply the stops for technical defects. As for the fleet of expensive carrier-based F-35 fighters acquired in the United States, their number is so insufficient that it was necessary to fill the gaps with aircraft and pilots from across the Atlantic during their last campaign at sea.