Military ex-chief argues for bigger armed forces

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A FORMER top military leader wants 5,000 more people in the armed forces.

Lord Richard Dannant, former chief of the general staff, spoke in response to crises in Syria and Ukraine.

He said the strategy had changed since 2010.

He said: ‘With Russia resurgent in both confidence and military capability this is a poor moment in many observers’ judgment for the US-led West to be weak.

‘Diplomacy and economic sanctions may be the right response for now to President Putin over Ukraine but he will look through those things to see where the real check on his actions might come from.’

As part of the government’s cost-cutting Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010, HMS Ark Royal and 10 other navy ships were axed.

Army numbers are due to be cut from 102,000 to 82,000 by 2018.