Foreign mercenaries to fight skint Britain's future wars

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 07, 2012 11:20 hrs

UK Defence Secretary Philip Hammond is set to administer cuts in army numbers by outlining plans to plug gaps by using paid civilian soldiers.

Hammond said that the Army will have to rely on help from private contractors and foreign soldiers in future wars.

Several regiments will be axed or merged as the Army downsizes from 102,000 personnel to 82,000 by 2020.

According to the Daily Mail, private military contractors, Nato allies and Territorial Army (TA) reservists will be employed to plug the gaps.

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute in London, Hammond will outline plans for paid civilian soldiers to provide 'logistics support' for regular front-line soldiers.

He would also promise the UK will maintain 'teeth' for any future military operations, but add that others will have to help with key tasks to keep soldiers armed and fed.

The reorganisation of the British Army will reduce numbers from 102,000 to 82,000.

Hammond also wants to beef up the reserves, investing œ1.8billion in the TA and doubling the number of members to 38,000. This would leave a total of 120,000 soldiers at commanders' disposal.

Hammond would outline that Army will 'rethink the way we deliver every aspect of military effect in order to maximise capability at the front-line'.

The long-mooted cuts to personnel were detailed in the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010.

However, the plans for greater involvement of private military contractors will fuel fears that the economic crisis will leave the UK saddled with a cut-price Armed Forces, placing the soldiers in danger. (ANI)

More from Sify: