A senior US military official confidentially told British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace that the UK’s armed forces are no longer on par with those of the leading world powers, Sky News claims.
The broadcaster, citing anonymous defense sources, said that years of cost-cutting measures by successive governments have made the country’s military a “hollow force.”
The report, which came out on Monday, alleges that the unnamed American general had a frank conversation with Wallace and several other British officials last fall.
The conclusion of the US general regarding the UK’s fighting capabilities was unsettling for London: “You haven’t got a tier one. It’s barely tier two.”
According to Sky News, the general classed the armed forces of the US, China, Russia, and France as tier-one powers, with Germany and Italy representing tier-two armies.
Several unnamed British defense sources confirmed to the broadcaster that the nation’s military is currently in a sorry state.
One official was quoted as saying: “It’s an entire service unable to protect the UK and our allies for a decade.”
The UK military would reportedly run out of ammunition “in a few days” if a conflict broke out. Moreover, the armed forces would likely be unable to defend the skies against the level of missile and drone strikes currently seen in Ukraine, the broadcaster claimed.