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Cuts mean we could no longer fight World War 2, claims military historian

May 23rd, 2014

Speaking at the Hay Literary Festival, Dr Jonathan Boff, of Birmingham University, said that it was unlikely that today’s generals would be able to stand up to politicians and make a case for the best tactics.

“There is a problem I think, and that I have seen over the last 10, 11, 12, 13 years, and generation after generation, of the military being cut by civil servants,” he said.

The defence committee studied Britain’s nuclear and conventional forces, considering whether the country still has sufficient military power to deter attacks and threats from other states.

MPs concluded that the credibility of both forces is put in doubt by recent cuts in the Armed Forces, and warned against any additional cuts.

A Strategic Defence and Security Review is due next year, and some military commanders fear it will lead to more cuts.

However Dr Boff claimed that Britain’s defence capability no longer needed to be as strong as it had been as global threats had diminished.

“There is now no kind of existential threat to Great Britain,” he said, “What you require is an ability to adapt and role with the punches.

“There are no longer any threats that are susceptible to military force.”

In his lecture Dr Boff also argued that Britain did not stumble blindly into the first and second world wars but was actually fairly well equipped to fight by the time the conflicts were announced.

“Even in 1939 Britain was the strongest military power in the world with the biggest navy that only rash people would have take on,” he said.

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