The Guardian newspaper said in a report on Monday that the number of personnel in the frontline units of the British army had decreased by up to a third compared to what was required in recruitment targets.
The data, published in response to a parliamentary question, showed that the deficit in infantry groups on the frontline was much larger than previously reported by the government, Presstv Reported.
It said that there were only 460 personnel in the Scots Guards, 1st Battalion in October last year although the unit had anticipated 697 workforce in its target strength. The 2nd Battalion of The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment also reported a 31 percent shortage with only 330 people enlisted. Other regiments and units had also failed to meet their recruitment targets as much as 30 percent, said the report.
The new revelations comes amid numerous reports suggesting the youth in Britain are less inclined to join the army given its records of launching bloody invasions over the past decades. That comes despite extensive government programs to enlist the socially odd groups of the youth, including internet addicts and video gamers.
Experts say the significant shortfall of personnel in the British army could pose serious risks to the integrity of the armed forces and their combat readiness in future.
“A battalion that is missing 10% of its strength can probably compensate for the shortfall. Having lost 30%, you are not going to be able to generate the combat power to stand up to two enemy battalions, even in the defense,” said Jack Watling, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.