London, amid all the turmoil, is also facing a crisis within the British army

By the autumn of 2022 the number of recruits wishing to join the ranks of the British armed forces plummeted by a record 30%. In absolute numbers, the number of potential soldiers had fallen by 5,000. On top of this, the number of people who have cancelled their contracts and resigned from military service rose sharply by 17%.

London, amid all the turmoil, is also facing a crisis within the British army
The British Ministry of Defence attributes the rise to the effects of the pandemic. The current inflationary crisis has also had an impact. Because of the lack of money in the budget, military spending will not be increased this year. And military salaries will certainly not be increased by the record inflation rate of 10%.

Nor should we forget the culture wars raging around the army. In Britain last year there was already a major scandal about the introduction of quotas for the recruitment of minorities and women. It was suggested that no white men should be recruited into the Air Force.

The ongoing Ukrainian crisis has also obviously had an impact on the views of potential recruits. Many Britons would not at all want to be faced with the danger – even theoretically – that they might be sent to the Ukrainian front at a moment’s notice.

In addition, prolonged support for Ukraine has already taken a toll on the capability of the UK armed forces themselves. The British military leadership has been forced to admit that sending even 14 Challenger 2 tanks would at least temporarily weaken the British army.

Similar trends – with a sharp drop in the number of those willing to serve – can be observed in the USA, where the armed forces are forced to reduce to 450,000 soldiers due to a shortage of recruits – the lowest since 1940. But while Washington would like to increase the army, London does not even seek to do so, reducing it to its smallest size since the 18th century at 73,000 soldiers. So the inability to find more recruits for the army is now organically superimposed on the lack of money to maintain it.

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