London, Sept 17 : A serious crisis looms large over British defence forces as there is a possibility of a mass walkout due to massive under-funding and poor pay scales, as much of the defence budget is being spent on forces deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, a report titled "Overcoming The Defence Crisis" backed by former military chiefs has warned.
It said that all the three major political parties must unite to back the "woefully under-funded" forces whose budget "urgently needs to be increased" from the current 34 billion to 50 billion dollars over the next three years.
The mass resignations might paralyze the British defence forces, the report said and added that a "huge burden" has been placed on the forces with more than 12,000 troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan that has led to an immense strain on both troops and equipment.
"The national interest requires the full-hearted engagement of Government and Opposition to rehabilitate our Armed Forces and repair our defences. Now is no longer the time for party politics," The Telegraph quoted Winston Churchill, the UKNDA's president and grandson of the wartime leader, as saying.
He warned that the Forces were "in crisis" with funding the lowest since 1930s when "inadequate defence provision paved the way directly to world war".
The report highlights as a serious worry over the continued drain of personnel which saw 20,000 troops resign last year fed up with poor pay, time away from families and inadequate accommodation. "Remedial action can no longer be delayed without running the unacceptable risk of mass retirements from the widely demoralised Armed Forces," said the report compiled by former generals, admirals and academics.
It suggested that in order to reverse the "unacceptable threat of major resignations" and restore morale the Services need a rapid improvement in pay, kit and manpower. "The serious inadequacy of Britain's current and planned defence provision is undeniable," the 20 page report said.