THE head of the British army has warned that the country has almost run out of troops to defend itself or fight abroad, a leaked document has revealed.
General Sir Richard Dannatt has told senior commanders that reinforcements are “now almost non-existent”.
In the memorandum to fellow defence leaders, he said: “We have almost no capability to react to the unexpected”.
The “undermanned” army has almost all its units committed to training for war in Iraq and Afghanistan, on operations or on leave.
Just one battalion of 500 troops is available for an emergency, such as a domestic terrorist attack.
Military leaders have privately suggested that a defence review is essential to examine if more money, equipment and troops are needed.
With Britain’s military reserve virtually empty, pressure will mount on US President George Bush to review US troop levels in Iraq, after fellow Republicans suggested significant withdrawals. More forces are also needed in Afghanistan.
UK army runs out of troops