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Cuts made in the U.K.'s Strategic Defense & Security Review threaten a prolonged period of military overstretch for the country's armed forces, warns the British Parliament's defense committee. The most difficult period could be the transition timeframe of 2015-20 when the services shift from their current force posture to the Future Force 2020. The legislators warn that "the U.K. armed forces will be continually operating at the maximum level envisaged by the defense planning assumptions."Moreover, they note there is already a mismatch between the resource plan and operational commitments. "The government seems to have postponed the sensible aspiration of bringing commitments and resources in line, in that it has taken on the new commitment of Libya while reducing the resources available to MoD."Committee Chairman James Arbuthnot warns that if shortcomings are not fixed, "the national security strategy is in danger of becoming a 'wish list' that fails to make the hard choices necessary to ensure the nation's security."Perhaps even more importantly, if the concerns raised by the legislators are valid, the U.K. risks having a broken military within just a few years' time, making it even more challenging to bring about its Future Force 2020.
Copyright © 2013, Aviation Week, a division of McGraw Hill Financial.