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British Army Feels Overstretched by Wars

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TEHRAN, June 22 (ICANA) – A British military's Air Force commander has warned the UK lawmakers that a prolonged intervention in Libya could seriously damage the RAF's capabilities.
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 9:54:27 PM
British Army Feels Overstretched by Wars

Air Chief Marshal Sir Simon Bryant, the head of the Air Force's combat operations, wrote to members of parliament (MPs), telling them that intense air attacks in Afghanistan and the Middle East have drained the Royal Air Force (RAF) of its equipment and personnel, The Daily Telegraph reported.

The RAF's second in command said morale among airmen was “fragile” and their fighting spirit was threatened by being overworked, according to the report.

He also warned that the government defence cuts were undermining the personnel's sense that the nation valued their efforts.

“The air force was also now finding it difficult to recruit staff”, he said, “with many specialties understaffed by up to a quarter”.

Air Chief Marshal Bryant - whose full title is Commander in Chief (Air) - warned that the “ability of the RAF to deal with unforeseen emergencies would be rapidly eroded if the Libyan campaign went beyond September”.

“Two concurrent operations are placing a huge demand on equipment and personnel,” he said

“Should Operation Ellamy (Libya) endure past defence planning assumptions the future contingent capability is likely to be eroded,” he added

The UK government including its monarchial regime and the military are very concerned by the failure of NATO's mission to remove Col Muammar Gaddafi from power since air strikes began in March.

The UK's Queen Elizabeth and the French president Nicholas Sarkozy, who started the war against Libya, had initially hoped for a swift resolution to the conflict.

But, Last week, Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope, the head of the Royal Navy, warned that current operations were “unsustainable”.

The RAF faces being cut by 5,000 of its staff over the next three years, reducing by almost 15 percent to 32,000 personnel.

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