There's going to be a big shake up of the British Armed Forces. Ministers are all set to tell us 20,000 regular soldiers will have to go between now and the year 2020, as part of the UK's overall spending cuts.
The cut represents a fifth of troops overall from 102,000 to 82,000, and although the system of regiments will remain the same, the system of units (within regiments) will be disbanded with some being axed or merged to make the figures work. According to the BBC, the Army could lose 5 out of the 36 infantry battalions, with 4 armoured units merging into two and support units like engineers and logistics being slashed by 30%.
Critics are already asking how we can even consider doing this at a time of war, especially when you compare those numbers to the size of our Army during the Cold War era - and the year 1978 when the Armed Forces swelled to 163,000.
The Defence Secretary assures us that Britain will stay effective and well-equipped but that we will have rely increasingly on reservists like the Territorial Army (there'll be an extra 15,000 of those, taking the numbers to 30,000). Plus the Ministry of Defence will be leaning on ally co-operation and the drafting in of private contractors. For immediate threats and peace-keeping 'Reaction' and 'Security Assistance' Forces will be available.