There are only about 27,000 more active-duty troops today than in 2000--and even with those additions, the military is more overstretched
now than it was when Bush took office.
Defence chiefs insisted yesterday that British forces are not overstretched
but admitted it is "very hard to say" how close that point now is.
The Tories have argued that although the military is overstretched
, it is nevertheless sustainable.
"The assessment is that our armed forces are stretched but not overstretched
," he said, but it was "very hard to say" how close to that the UK had got.
And the real victim of imperial overstretch
was, of course, the Soviet Union.
With Iraq and Somalia thought to be next possible targets of American military attention, defence experts sided with Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith in warning that the 100,000-strong British Army could face overstretch
``It is imperative that people buying property to let understand exactly what they are getting into and do not overstretch
DEFENCE chiefs yesterday insisted British forces were not overstretched
Mr Lilley said: "In the light of the deployment of extra troops, which the Prime Minister announced yesterday, so that over 85 per cent of the Army is now committed or earmarked to specific operations, do you share our concern at the possibility of our Army becoming overstretched
One crewman tells the show, on at 8.30pm tonight: "The bottom line is her age." An ex-Air Vice Marshall said: "The service is at total overstretch
Lib Dem spokesman Nick Harvey said: "The consequences of prolonged overstretch
could be disastrous." Tory Liam Fox said it was "putting unacceptable pressure on personnel and families".
Be careful not to overstretch
yourself with commitments.