Britain is unprepared for warfare and would struggle against other militaries should World War Three break out, a politician has claimed.
The former Defence Minister for the UK has said Britain is no longer a "top tier fighting force" and would struggle to see out conflict should it happen.
Worrying appraisals of the UK's military come as the Defence Select Committee begin an examination of "combat readiness, including supplies and stockpiles and regular and reserve force numbers".
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Committee chairman and Tory MP Tobias Ellwood has questioned the state of the UK's military and said the current state of armed troops would struggle in active combat, The Mirror reported.
He said: "The world is becoming more dangerous, not less. In this inquiry we will examine the UK’s current state of combat readiness – both our strengths and potential weaknesses.
"Our service personnel are amongst the most skilled and highly trained in the world and this inquiry will ask what impact cuts to numbers and funding may have on their ability to respond to new or escalating conflicts.
"In an increasingly unpredictable and volatile world, our armed forces need the ability to respond to crises at a moment’s notice."
Mr Ellwood warned the UK must keep its armed forces up to scratch in "readiness" for potential future combat.
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He added: "Maintaining robust combat readiness isn’t just a matter for active wartime – readiness is a vital deterrent against future conflict.
"From the cuts to boots on the ground, to a decrease in real terms funding and potential capability gaps on the horizon, concern around our ability to respond to provocation is understandably high.
"Even the Secretary of State for Defence himself has described the British Army as 'hollowed out', and there have been suggestions that the United States no longer view us as a top tier fighting force."
The former Defence Minister's stern assessment of the UK's fighting force comes as an ex-MI6 agent believes Russia already has a network of "killer spies" in the UK, The Daily Star previously reported.
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