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UK General Floats Conscription Balloon, Sunak Trying to Shoot that Sucker Down – HotAir

Looks like we’re not the only country taking a gander at our military, wondering where all the bodies went, and where one might scrape up some new ones.

The difference being here – where the heads of most of the services seem actively engaged in chasing off potential recruits even as they whine no one wants to join their party – as opposed to the United Kingdom where a general has actually just floated the “C” word.

Heads are ‘sploding.

Public face call-up if we go to war, military chief warns
General says Army is too small and Government needs to ‘mobilise the nation’ in the event of conflict with Russia

The British public will be called up to fight if the UK goes to war because the military is too small, the head of the Army is to warn.

General Sir Patrick Sanders will stress the need for the Government to “mobilise the nation” in the event of war with Russia in a speech on Wednesday.

With the British Army being reduced to its smallest size for centuries, The Telegraph understands Gen Sir Patrick, who has been openly critical of troop cuts, wants British men and women to be prepared for a call-up if Nato goes to war with Vladimir Putin.

It comes after a senior Nato military official warned that private citizens should prepare for an all-out war with Russia in the next 20 years, which would require wholesale change in their lives.

Adml Rob Bauer said that nations needed to be prepared to “find more people if it comes to war”, and to consider “mobilisation, reservists or conscription”.

Gen Sir Patrick retires in six months, so I guess he figured it was cool to speak freely. Although in his defense, the British are in a bit of a pinch as far as their military goes. Stiff upper lips won’t help wretched numbers like these if Russian push comes to shove. They also don’t help morale for the poor sods who have to keep things running when they’re so shorthanded now.

…The number of regular troops in the Army stands at 75,983, although defence sources insisted applications for the Army were at the highest they had been in six years.

Last week Capita, the outsourcing specialist in charge of the Army’s recruitment, said soldiers who have visible tattoos, hay fever or a record of asthma should be allowed to join to solve the crisis.

The Royal Navy is struggling to hire more than the other forces, with just 29,000 full-time recruits.

Earlier this month The Telegraph revealed that the Navy has so few sailors it will have to decommission two warships to staff its new class of frigates.

…A recent MoD survey found that just 34 per cent of service personnel said they felt valued while 46 per cent felt dissatisfied with the overall standard of their accommodation. Over the past year, 16,260 personnel have left the Armed Forces.

No wonder service members are getting out in droves, and believe you me – THIS PLACE SUCKS is not a recruiting tool for future prospects. You need people who had a good experience and were reluctant to leave talking the military up if you want to have a prayer of convincing anyone to raise a right hand…or whatever the British do

And when you’re so understaffed, you’re building ships with no hopes of enough sailors to man them?


I can’t even imagine.

Then there’s the general state of the UK itself. It’s a mess. Malaise, ennui, and an enervated, dispirited population who are not feeling the deep-seated patriotism that a call-to-arms of yesteryear might have engendered.

There’s a crisis of confidence and national character in the air, which boils down to a pretty widespread “F**k no, I won’t go.

Speaking of that smiling Sunak in the center there – he was thrown into bit of a panic at Gen Sir Patrick’s military musings. Coming, as they did, in the middle of a fractious election season where he’s not doing so well against his Labour challenger. Every ding draws blood.

Cue the scrambling to put out this fire, with subtle suggestions that military strength critics stuff a sock in it.

The U.K. government said Wednesday it has no plans to introduce conscription, after the head of the British Army said a “citizen army” would be needed to fight a future war with a country like Russia.

Chief of the General Staff Gen. Patrick Saunders said preparing for a potential land war would have to be a “whole-of-nation” undertaking. He praised European nations closer to Russia for “prudently laying the foundations for national mobilization.”

…Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s spokesman, Max Blain, said the government “has no intention” of introducing conscription.

“The British military has a proud tradition of being a voluntary force. There are no plans to change that,” he said.

He added that “engaging in hypothetical wars” was “not helpful.”

In fact, some of the news releases on the controversial comments, perhaps massaged a bit by the Sunak government, are intimating that Gen Sir Patrick’s comments had something rather more to do with getting passed over for promotion than pure policy.

Downing Street has dismissed a warning from the head of the British army that the UK public must be prepared to take up arms in a war against Vladimir Putin’s Russia because today’s professional military is too small.

Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said the prime minister did not agree with comments made by Gen Sir Patrick Sanders in a speech on Wednesday, and was forced to insist there would be no return to national service, which was abolished in 1960.

“Hypothetical scenarios” involving possible future wars was “not helpful”, the No 10 spokesperson added, as the row opened up a rift between the Conservatives and the military at a time when cuts mean the army is at its smallest for more than 300 years.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) also distanced itself from the speech, which was released by the British army on behalf of the senior general, who is due to leave in the summer, having missed out on becoming head of the armed forces three years ago.



Whatever the true circumstances, this isn’t the first time the C-word’s been raised in a European country lately. If you’ll remember, the head of Germany’s defense department, Boris Pistorious, said something almost exactly the same last year.

…While the opposition is still talking about stripping military spending for social programs, Pistorius has floated the reintroduction of military conscription and it’s being seriously considered.

A familiar discussion has begun in Germany, almost a year after Russia started its war on Ukraine: Should compulsory military service be reintroduced? Some countries, for example Latvia, have recently reintroduced it, and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius fueled the debate when he said earlier this week: “It was a mistake to suspend compulsory military service.”

Militaries in general are woefully underfunded for the nuts and bolts of what matters when a war happens – that’s the bottom line in all of this. Some militaries are in far sadder shape than others, and those just happen to be the ones closest to the Russians. Who are also who they all use as the inevitable adversary when they want to make their points about end strength.

Shoot, they even use Trump to make their point about end strength and the Russians (I mean, FFS – the universal bogeyman).

Defence fears if Trump wins
Meanwhile, the US is struggling to pass a $100 billion military aid package for Ukraine amid Republican opposition, with defence sources warning that if Donald Trump wins the presidential race, it will hand Russia victory.

God knows what it’s going to take to get the British Armed Forces back to snuff, if ever, and the reasons are understandable.

Suggestions to correct the shortages, while technically accurate from a numbers perspective, probably won’t work out.

If it ever came to enacting the C-word in the UK, good luck, Smithers.

I’ll bet you dollars to doughboys the only ones who registered (if they were supposed to) are going to be those useless white guys.

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