Top Army General Warns Minister of Defence Sir Michael Fallon That the UK Armed Forces are Incapable of Defending the British Isles – Yet He Insists on Strutting the World Stage Talking About Military Action Against Russia Reality Check Required









19 May 2016: Defence Minister, Philip Hammond ‘tried to court-martial senior general

General Sir Richard Shirreff, who served as Nato’s deputy supreme allied commander for Europe until 2014, said before standing down from the post the Government was taking “one hell of a risk” by cutting the regular army. In his book ‘2017: The War with Russia’, published today, Sir Richard claims he was summoned by the head of the Army after his remarks in March 2014, who told him the Foreign Secretary wanted disciplinary action against him.

Formal action would have involved a court-martial and, fortunately for (Mr Hammond’s) political reputation — “it also seems he had not appreciated that I reported to Nato and not to him — wiser counsel prevailed. But the damage to our armed forces… had already been done. It’s the duty of senior soldiers engaged with politicians not to think like politicians, not to make life easier for politicians, but to be prepared to lay out the military consequences of political decisions, and I sense that is something that has got blurred in recent years.”

Sir Richard, who was the army’s third most senior officer, said the level of cutbacks to the British military means the armed forces might not be able to deploy an effective force for war. There has been a hollowing out, a cutting away at muscle and damn nearly bone in UK defences which puts us in a very different position from where we were even ten years ago.

I would question whether the UK could deploy a division for war — I think that’s highly unlikely. The notion of deploying a division for war as the UK did in Iraq in 2003 and Iraq in 1991 is frankly almost inconceivable.” Sir Richard also hit out at what he branded “increasingly irrelevant” political leadership and claimed Britain has become “semi pacifist” in recent years. The former general suggests Vladimir Putin’s regime “has set itself on a collision course with the West”.








14 August 2016: Scandalous splurge – Ministry of Defence doubles spending on on ‘experts’ to £91million as it cuts troops to the bone

Whitehall defence chiefs employ over 2,395 pen-pushers (many on salaries over £60K) in its Finance Department, at an annual cost in excess of £75million. It also employs 282 lawyers at a cost to the taxpayer of £26 million.

But last year it still spent another £17.8 million on legal consultants. And £57million on other experts in areas such as “change management.”

In recent years, the Army has axed 18,000 personnel, the RAF 6,000 and the Navy 3,000. In March the MoD announced it was closing 10 sites across the UK reducing the size of its built estate by 30 per cent.

The chief of the UK National Defence Association, said: “For the MOD to be lavishing so much public money on “consultancy” is scandalous and an insult to all the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have lost their jobs in the last few years in wave after wave of penny-pinching Defence cuts.”





17 Sep 2016: Gen Sir Richard Barrons, Senior General of the British Armed Forces accuses the government of leaving the UK vulnerable to a military attack

General Sir Richard Barrons served as Commander Joint Forces Command, one of the six ‘Chiefs of Staff” leading the UK Armed Forces until April 2016. He was responsible for 23000 people worldwide and a budget of £4.3Bn, delivering intelligence, Special Forces, operational command and control, information systems and communications, logistics, medical support, and advanced education and training across the Armed Forces. His military career includes leadership from Captain to General on military operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, Northern Ireland, Iraq and Afghanistan – often as part of US-led coalitions
In a long memo (written just before his retirement), to the Secretary of State for Defence, Sir Michael Fallon he warned that key capabilities had been sidelined to cut costs. His warning stated that the government was simply “preserving the shop window” with items “large ticket items” such as aircraft carriers and “capability that is foundational to all major armed forces has been withered by design.”

He continued: “Counter-terrorism is the limit of up-to-date plans and preparations to secure our airspace, waters and territory. Neither the UK homeland nor a deployed force could be protected from a concerted Russian air effort. The army has grown used to operating from safe bases in the middle of its operating area, against opponents who do not manoeuvre at scale.”

He further warned that crucial manpower in all three armed services is “dangerously squeezed and there is a sense that modern conflict is ordained to be only as small and as short term as the UK wishes and is able to afford which is absurd. The failure to come to terms with this will not matter at all if we are lucky in the way the world happens to turn out, but it could matter a very great deal if even a few of the risks now at large conspire against the UK.”

The memo was sent to Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, following the government’s decision to increase defence spending by nearly £5bn ($6.5bn) by 2020-21, reaching Nato’s target to spend 2% of GDP on defence until 2020.

But the vast bulk of the projected increase in defence spending includes the purchase of “big ticket” items, New type 26 destroyers, 2 aircraft carriers (without aircraft or crews), 48 x F35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft (not available from the USA for some years yet). Replacement of the Trident nuclear missile systems and accompanying nuclear submarines. Conventional forces are reduced to their lowest level ever, including reservists and recruitment is stagnant.









The F35 joint strike aircraft (US built) is the most expensive combat aircraft ever built for the UK. But payloads are restricted and with a complement of 48 the RAF will only be able to place 6 in the air in any combat situation. In any event the aircraft will not be available much before 2020. Plans are to deploy the new carriers equipped with complements of US aircraft and flyers but the logistics of joint deployment of forces has yet to be discussed and may never get off the ground in which case the carriers will be mothballed for a few years.

Britain has 6 x type 45 destroyers. 4 are tasked to protect the new carriers. The remaining 2 destroyers are needed for the defence of the UK mainland & islands. And the foregoing provides no time for maintenance. The Type 45 destroyers are unable to operate in warm climates for any length of time due to design faults and this restricts their deployment to the North Atlantic. So the navy will need to confine deployment of the new carriers to the same area. Hardly inspiring.

The army has not deployed forces for training in tank warfare since 2003 and skills have been lost or waned. Plans are to upgrade the remaining ageing Challenger tanks but not until other higher priority items are completed. Russia’s new “Armata” tanks outspeed and outgun the Challenger and are equipped with an active protection system that further reduce the efficacy of existing UK anti-tank weapons by over 50%.
The UK’s operates a fleet of 6 x AWACS planes, (providing long-range radar coverage and command hubs for deployed forces). They are hopelessly outdated and require ever increasing downtime for maintenance. It is known that only 1 aircraft is guaranteed to be airworthy at any time.








1 Nov 2016: Army’s new £3.5bn mini-tanks are ‘DEATH traps’ that are only useful against ‘incompetent enemies’ who cannot hit them with heavy artillery

Hundreds of Ajax mini-tanks are due to be supplied to the Army next year with the full order of 600 delivered to the Ministry of Defence by 2024.

But sources have claimed the delivery could be delayed due to complications with a revolutionary weapons system fitted on board each tank, although the MoD has insisted the project will be completed on time and will provide the ‘best’ tanks.

Critics claim the ‘lightly armoured’ tanks cannot stand up to heavy artillery and say the weaponry on board is not sufficient – with the gun having already ‘stopped working’ during foreign trials. Raising concerns about the new tanks, one former defence official told The Times: ‘It is fine if you are operating against incompetent enemies, but if you are up against a peer enemy this thing is useless, it’s a death trap.’

The Ajax armoured vehicles will travel at speeds of up to 40mph and have been touted as the first ever fully digital armoured fighting vehicle in UK military history.

The 589 tanks are said to become the ‘eyes and ears’ of the British Army on the battlefields of the future. The new vehicle will allegedly give the army enhanced intelligence, surveillance, protection, target acquisition and reconnaissance capabilities, and it will be able to defend itself with a highly effective 40-millimetre cannon, which was developed jointly with France.

However, critics claim the cannon has already encountered problems during routine testing in overseas trials and say it is simply not up to the job of defending rival power from countries such as Russia. Referring to an alleged complication with the cannon’s turret – a section attached to the weapon to feed ammunition to the barrel – a source claimed: ‘As soon as the turret was subject to vibration and bumps the [feeding] mechanism failed. ‘My understanding is that there are quite a few reasons why the programme has been delayed’.

In addition, there are reported concerns that the barrel life of the weapon system is too short to function adequately – although the MoD says the new technology ‘can’t be compared to previous technology’. The turret and feeding mechanism on the cannon is being supplied and tested by defence firm Lockheed Martin, while the cannon and ammunition are being developed by BAE Systems and Nexter.

The Ajax tanks are being supplied to the MoD by US defence company General Dynamics, as part of a £3.5bn deal. A spokesman for Lockheed Martin admitted ‘issues did arise in recent trials’ on the weaponry but said ‘early indications point to a component failure and not a design flaw’, The Times reported. BAE systems said the cannon had passed ‘stringent qualification trials’ and said there were no issues with its performance or when it will be delivered. ‘Deliveries to date to the UK Ministry of Defence are ahead of schedule,’ a spokesman said.

The MoD said the project is ‘running to time and cost expectations’ and insisted the tanks were ‘the best in class’. delivering internationally best-in-class standards of scalable protection, reliability, mobility, lethality, and all-weather surveillance. Prototype vehicles are currently being put through a rigorous trials process, with successful live firings taking place in April and more to come. ‘As planned, the Army will take delivery of the first production vehicles in Spring 17.






pa-653x474UK Defence Secretary in waiting





UK Armed Forces Fail to Achieve Recruiting Targets – The Answer – Introduce compulsory Military Training Into the Educational Curriculum and fund Army Cadet Units In State Schools







6 Mar 2015: Children in State Schools to complete “readiness for war” education projects

A government-issued teaching resource which includes a task asking pupils to devise a plan for going to war, is presenting a “sanitised” and “positive” view of life in the armed forces, claims a prominent educationalist and citizenship expert.

In a report joint-issued by campaign groups “ForcesWatch” and Quakers in Britain about the ‘British Armed Forces Learning Resource’ A former director of curriculum resources at the Citizenship Foundation accused the government of trying to boost recruitment through a “biased” piece of literature.

He said: “Its aims, judging from the text, appear to be to present a positive, sometimes sanitised, view of the armed forces, to boost recruitment, and advocate for more combined cadet forces in schools. I believe this is completely unacceptable, and that the document should be withdrawn and redeveloped in such a way that students can be enabled to learn about the role of the military in our society and in national and international affairs in a way which is educationally-sound, balanced, and which respects the rights to freedom of belief of students and their families.”

A government spokesman said that The learning resource had been commissioned by the office of the prime minister with the support of the Department for Education (DfE) and Ministry of Defence (MoD) and its aims were entirely consistent with the government’s strategy to promote a ‘military ethos in schools’.”

The resource pack includes a foreword by the prime minister, five chapters of information about the armed forces, and a series of suggested activities. One suggested activity stated: “Devise a plan for how to go to war. Include how you will get there, what equipment and people you will need.”







5 May 2016: The number of cadet units in state schools is to increase five-fold by 2020, George Osborne announced in the Summer Budget.

The Chancellor pledged to create cadet forces in 500 state schools. Most would be in “less affluent areas”. According to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), as of April 1 last year there were about 131,000 cadets in the UK, divided between the Combined Cadet Force (42,950), a scheme run through schools, and the Army Cadet Force (41,000).

A Treasury spokesperson said that the money required, £50million would not be diverted from schools but would instead come from fines levied on banks. “In the last government, £450 million was given to support military causes and emergency services. This builds on that repertoire. “This has been billed as a priority for the government and the initiative was launched by the prime minister in 2012, when he said he would increase the number of cadet units. This will make sure there is the same quality of cadet experience across all schools.”

Last year, David Cameron announced a £1 million bursary scheme for state school cadet units, funded with fines from banks caught up in the Libor rate-fixing scandal. On top of this bursary, Mr Cameron pledged £11 million in 2012 to set up a further 100 cadet units in state schools by 2015 under the Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP).

The Combined Cadet Force says on its website: “The CEP is part of the Government’s aim of promoting military ethos in schools; to instil values in young people that will help them get the most out of their lives, and to contribute to their communities and country. “This means pupils developing qualities such as self-discipline, loyalty and respect, strong leadership, teamwork and resilience, which will help them achieve excellence and shape their future.”

Details for the scheme are still minimal. The Summer Budget document states: “CEP £50 million – to increase the number of cadet units in state schools to 500 by 2020.”

The MoD recently faced criticism after Schools Week revealed last month that it had requested access to sensitive data in the National Pupil Database so it could “target its messaging” around military careers.
A spokesperson for “ForcesWatch”, a campaign group scrutinising army recruitment policies, said: “This is a huge amount of money to fund yet more military activities in schools at the expense of universal provision which is accessible to all students.”






4 Oct 2016: Armed Forces cadet units are to be set up in 150 schools

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced the first of the new units would be established in Birmingham’s Rockwood Academy to boost efforts to instil ‘British values.’

On his visit to the school, he said: “This used to be a ‘Trojan Horse’ school. “It has been turned around completely and instead of promoting religious segregation, today, as a new academy, it is instilling British values with a school cadet unit that will parade this afternoon, serving the Queen and country.”

He added the Armed Forces were driving opportunity for young people across the country. He said: Look at how the Armed Forces provide the most apprenticeships. Helping people develop skills that benefit our military – setting set them up for better careers in civilian life.I am setting a target to deliver 50,000 apprenticeships over this Parliament.”

Mr Fallon rehearsed attacks on the Labour Party over Trident and wider defence policy – insisting ‘waving the white flag’ would not keep the country safe. He said instead, the Conservative Government was investing in a new generation of equipment and tackling threats from ISIS, Russia and North Korea.

But the shadow defence secretary, dismissed the speech. He said: “Michael Fallon’s speech was a smokescreen, designed to deflect from the Tories legacy of failure on defence. The reality is their devastating cuts since 2010 have weakened and demoralised our Armed Forces, leaving them poorly-equipped, over-stretched, under-paid and too often living in squalid conditions.The Tory obsession with cost-cutting means they are not even using British steel to build our ships and vehicles. ‘They have systematically undermined our industrial communities, ripping up Labour’s Defence Industrial Strategy and spending billions overseas, instead of investing in British jobs and British steel. For Labour, our Armed Forces personnel and veterans will always come first. We will tackle the decline of wages and pensions, the decay of on-base housing and the shocking lack of support for veterans.”








8 Feb 2017: Fallons Nose out of joint as Scottish government rules out Army Cadet Force units in Scottish state schools

Army cadet units will not be permitted to operate in state schools north of the Border, the Scottish Government has confirmed. Ministers said there was no change to the long-standing policy in Scotland that units could not be based at council-run schools.

The intervention came after UK defence minister Sir Michael Fallon suggested he wanted more units to be allowed in Scotland during a discussion about a pilot project at Maxwelltown High School, in Dumfries (Mundell’s seat of power).

A Scottish Government spokeswoman added: “There is no proposal being progressed to introduce a UK Government scheme to establish cadet units in Scottish schools. “The pilot at Maxwelltown High School is significantly different to the UK Government scheme, which we have made clear is not suitable for introduction in Scotland’s schools because it does not contribute to the curriculum. Instead of separate cadet units, our approach is focused on how voluntary youth organisation the Army Cadet Force can contribute to the Scottish curriculum as part of our national youth work strategy.”
Note: Forces recruitment is at an all time low and shows no sign of recovery. The introduction of cadet units in state run schools is advance planning by Fallon who will be hoping the measures will produce an increase in recruits. Hence the reference to 50,000 apprenticeships”