Armchair generals are furious that the size of the British army is to be reduced to just 82'000 men and women. But at least these 82'000 soldiers will be properly equipped with weapons that work. The British army of the past may have had the manpower but it certainly didn´t have the firepower. As a result of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan the British army is now fit for purpose. Billions of pounds has been spent on new equipment and has transformed the British army into a force which can fight any conflict across the globe. When British troops were first committed to Afghanistan their lightly armed vehicles were easy prey for the Taliban. A severe shortage of helicopters meant that they could not be easily deployed and a lack of basic infantry weaponry meant that your average British infantryman was completely outmatched. As a result of some hard lessons learnt in Afghanistan and Iraq the British army has been totally re-equipped with weapons which actually function. It was quite appalling at how under-equipped the British army was when it was deployed to Iraq in the first so-called Desert war in 1991. At that stage the British army had a strength of 150'000 soldiers although their main infantry rifle was almost unserviceable. So providing the British government keeps its promise and makes sure that the army has the right kit these latest defence cuts will have a minimal impact. Leaner but meaner.
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