Britain to axe 700 of military's top brass: Report

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London, Dec 19: The British government will axe more than 700 top-ranking military officials, including rear admirals, major generals and air vice-marshals, in the next three years, a media report said, citing a leaked document.

While at least 700 high-ranking officers and civil servants of the UK's Ministry of Defence would lose their jobs by 2014, another 335 will be axed before 2020, as the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has become "top heavy", 'The Guardian' quoted the confidential document as saying.

The swingeing cuts detailed in the document, which was sent to senior officials last month, is part of a review by Jonathan Slater, the MoD director general of transformation and strategy, the newspaper said.

"The simple truth is that the defence senior cadre is larger than we can afford, is judged to be out of proportion with a reducing manpower base and also with modern working practices and societal tolerances.

"The perception, both within and beyond the department, that defence is bureaucratic and top heavy must be addressed. It undermines the confidence of our own staff, parliament, the public and media, and has a detrimental impact on the delivery of frontline and other defence outputs," the documents says.

The document points out that the number of the most senior officers -- with a one star rank or above -- has risen by a third since 1990. It adds that the army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, will all have to identify the posts that could be filled by civilians, rather than military personnel.

"The current redundancy programme will reduce the number of Service Personnel -- both officers and non-commissioned ranks -- to ensure the Armed Forces are structured to best meet current and emerging threats," a MoD spokesman said.


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