Yes and no.
No if the grandstanding politicians want to further belittle the nation, withdraw from the P5,G8, and bury our heads in the sand. Then it is irrelevant as we are nothing it matters not if we have no troops. ( Lib Dems tick this option )
Yes if we want to be an outgoing, forward nation at the top table of the worlds nations politically, militarily, etc.
That they continue to do both, cut and strut on the world stage, riles me the most.
Being hi tech with many capabilities many other nations do not have is fine, but they cannot be in two places at once.
Thus government now obsessed with capability more than quantity, when ideally a balance is needed.
Daniele Mandelli - Guildford
The cuts are going too far. The G4S scandal is a timely reminder of the value of our forces in stepping up at a time of crisis.
France, Germany & Italy have a larger Army than we do. Yet, in the last 10 years we have done the Lion's share of the fighting.
Quite frankly I'm not sure the Army will ever receive the extra technology which is meant to bridge the capability gap. Politicians will keep voting for pay rises for themselves, yet more lives will be lost as our poor troops are being asked more & more.
Gary - RM
Its not just the size of the Army, it is the cuts in capability and skills that have taken generations to learn and evolve. These are not skill easily re-learned when things go pear shaped and the armed forces go through the "rapid expansion" that is built into the FAS2020 plan. Skill fade and skills loss is the big kicker in all of this.
Rob - Telford
There is no doubt that they will, in fact they strip us of an army. They have gone to far this time cutting all the forces too deep, in times of economic hardship we need stronger armed forces not weaker.
In the case of the army its simple maths 80,000 is just not enough. We need to be able to deploy more assests at the same time.
Very frustraiting indeed, as I fear that when this foolish government is history the damage they have done will remain, with the following governments un willing to reverse the cuts.
Sad times indeed.
David Forster - Durham
I have less of a problem with this happening to the army. History has shown that the army can be grown quite quickly in times of need as long as you keep a core force to soak up initial pressures. 80,000 gives us a powerful expeditionary force.
What worries me more is the stripping of assets from the Royal Navy and to a lesser extent the RAF. With these two services we now find ourselves in a situation where we simply could not soak up minor losses in a war situation. What happens if we lose 4 or 5 escorts as we did in the Falklands? We're suddenly down to a single digit warship navy.
The navy especially seems stripped to the bone, far fewer ships and those that we have are often not carrying a full arsenal, the Type 45s especially have to be the most expensive moving targets ever designed.
Stephen Miles - London