Rishi Sunak has announced a £5 billion increase in military spending and a new pledge to boost military funding to 2.5 per cent of GDP in the long term (you can read the full story here).
Lord Dannatt, the former chief of the general staff, said the announcement was “fine as far as it goes” but warned the UK’s Army is still “woefully” underfunded.
The former Army head said the UK will “stand in danger” unless it learns the “lessons from history” about nation’s which fail to maintain their land forces at a sufficient level.
He told Times Radio: “If you look at where the £5billion extra is going, part of it is going quite rightly to pay for replenishing the ammunition stocks that we have given to Ukraine and that is right and proper.
“A lot of the rest of it is going to the nuclear industry, aspects of our nuclear deterrent capability and to assist with the AUKUS deal which the Prime Minister has gone to California to discuss with the Americans and the Australians.
“That is fine as far as it goes. But, and this is the big but, with a land war in Europe, our land forces, our army, is woefully under invested and under funded at the present time.
“Everybody knows that. The army has taken the lowest priority in spending terms for quite some time to come.
“So, a pledge to go to 2.5 per cent of GDP is good but my question is when and what will that extra money be spent on and I would say this because I am one of the blokes that used to run the army, frankly we should be spending more on our army and there are lessons from history to show that if we don’t we stand in danger.”