Small Wars Journal

Gates: British Military Cuts Limit Scope for US Partnership

Thu, 01/16/2014 - 3:55pm

Gates: British Military Cuts Limit Scope for US Partnership - Reuters

British defense cuts mean the country can no longer be a full military partner of the United States, former U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned on Thursday.

Britain is the world's fourth largest military spender after the United States, China and Russia but is cutting the army by 20,000 soldiers over this decade while its navy will lose 6,000 personnel and its air force 5,000…

Read on.



Thu, 01/16/2014 - 6:31pm

Robert Gates short BBC breakfast radio interview is a well known prime spot for "sending a message", although he may not care to share it with some of his predecessors. His message was brief. It is one strongly rumoured to have been given before to the UK military, without an apparent impact on their civilian masters.

This is the BBC News's initial report: and the later Whitehall influenced, plus the Prime Minister:

One fact is missing. Yes the UK is the fourth largest military spender; missing is that the UK is the sixth largest economy.

For a long time the UK's ambitions have not matched its economic capability. Yes it has "punched above its weight" for political reasons, above all to maintain the 'special relationship'. Pride too is a factor, it is clear some in the USA do not share that viewpoint. Robert Gates is not the first such messenger.