'Warrior generation' can defend UK

Chief of the General Staff Sir Peter Wall says the Afghan conflict has produced a 'warrior generation'

Chief of the General Staff Sir Peter Wall says the Afghan conflict has produced a 'warrior generation'

First published in National News © by

The war in Afghanistan has given rise to a "warrior generation" of UK troops prepared for future conflicts, the head of the British Army has said.

Speaking on the centenary of Britain's entry into the First World War, General Sir Peter Wall, chief of the General Staff, said the military had learned from its decade-long operation in the war-torn nation.

The withdrawal of British troops from Afghanistan is well under way, with all combat personnel due to have left by the end of the year.

He told the Daily Telegraph: "I believe the warrior spirit and experience the British Army has acquired during its long decade of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan means it is ready for the challenges it is likely to face in the years ahead.

"We can be confident we have a 'warrior generation' who have the skill and fighting ability to play their role in the nation's defence and its security interests."

He also hinted that should the need arise, UK forces could return to Afghanistan.

He said: "It is vital that Afghan forces continue to deal with the any threat of al Qaida's return to the country. For if the Taliban were to be resurgent and al Qaida was again establishing sanctuaries, we would have to consider whether more effort was required on our part."

His comments also come as the Army faces a huge shake-up, with the Government's Army 2020 plan seeing the regulars cut by 20,000 to 82,000 and the number of part-time reservists being increased from 19,000 to 30,000.

In June, Gen Wall warned that any further cuts to defence spending could jeopardise the success of the reform and the Army's ability to defend Britain's interests.

"We will need all of our current resource allocation - and the freedom to reinvest savings in equipment support - if we are to deliver Army 2020 in a balanced manner and realise (then defence secretary Philip) Hammond's commitment to a firm foundation of men and materiel, well trained, well equipped and fully funded to operate in the nation's interests," he said.

Comments (6)

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9:07am Mon 4 Aug 14

Counterview says...

'Warrior Generation" What planet do these people live on? Today we remember the start of that most terrible war - World War 1. One Hundred Years on and we are still preparing for future conflict. When will we ever learn?
'Warrior Generation" What planet do these people live on? Today we remember the start of that most terrible war - World War 1. One Hundred Years on and we are still preparing for future conflict. When will we ever learn? Counterview
  • Score: 2

10:48am Mon 4 Aug 14

skeptik says...

Who knows if this oldie is still true 'beat your swords into ploughshares and you will plough your enemies fields for him'. Defence is a difficult concept to sell, some say keep everything at home - when of course sitting inside the greenhouse when whilst the stones break the glass above you and yours is pointless - you need to go and stop the stone throwers. Expensive and easy to say what a waste, we never used it - but if you get it wrong you only do so the once. We need to remain a part of a force like NATO and be a viable part of it.
Who knows if this oldie is still true 'beat your swords into ploughshares and you will plough your enemies fields for him'. Defence is a difficult concept to sell, some say keep everything at home - when of course sitting inside the greenhouse when whilst the stones break the glass above you and yours is pointless - you need to go and stop the stone throwers. Expensive and easy to say what a waste, we never used it - but if you get it wrong you only do so the once. We need to remain a part of a force like NATO and be a viable part of it. skeptik
  • Score: 3

11:08am Mon 4 Aug 14

southy says...

Its a sign that hatred is being bred into people
Its a sign that hatred is being bred into people southy
  • Score: -2

12:15pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Counterview says...

Re Skeptik's comment. Defence is a principle that I'm sure virtually all would sign up to. Attack, however, is somewhat different.
Re Skeptik's comment. Defence is a principle that I'm sure virtually all would sign up to. Attack, however, is somewhat different. Counterview
  • Score: 0

12:57pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Katie Re-Registered says...

I'm no military strategist, but one might have reasonably assumed that the best way to defend the UK would be to position British troops along the coast of the UK and - for internal security reasons its interior - rather than to send them off several thousand miles away.
I'm no military strategist, but one might have reasonably assumed that the best way to defend the UK would be to position British troops along the coast of the UK and - for internal security reasons its interior - rather than to send them off several thousand miles away. Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 3

1:24pm Mon 4 Aug 14

ColdAsChristmas says...

Still waiting for Tony Blair's children to volunteer!
Still waiting for Tony Blair's children to volunteer! ColdAsChristmas
  • Score: 3
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