Paddy Ashdown: Royal Marines cuts are playing fast and loose with the nation's defences


Commenting on the news the Royal Marines are going to be cut by 200 posts, ex-Royal Marine and former Liberal Democrat Leader Paddy Ashdown commented:

"In an unpredictable age, we need forces that are fast, flexible and mobile. That's what the Royal Marines do at a world-class level.

To cut their numbers to fill a Naval manpower black hole is not just poor reward for their service over the last years, but a folly which plays fast and loose with the nation’s defences.

The Royal Marines have carried the greatest burden in the defence of our country over the last decade - they have fought in more theatres and won more battles than any other British unit. They are also the crucial manpower pool from which we draw many of our Special Forces.

The Royal Marines are paying the price for the foolish decisions made in the last Strategic Defence Review, in which the Service Chiefs were allowed to hang on to their most prestigious equipment, even if they made little or no contribution to the nation’s strategic long-term defence needs.

We are now saddled with cuts to the Royal Marines to pay for sailors to man two huge aircraft carriers which many fear are little more than floating white elephants."


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