In his memoirs, Robert Gates has cautioned the Ministry of Defence that proposed cuts will seriously jeopardise the UK’s responsibility as a human shield and conduit for inept US foreign policy. British troops may find themselves downgraded to ‘far less’ useful activities such as ‘not getting shot at’.
By 2020, under MoD plans, the armed forces will lose 31,000 personnel and the ‘opportunity’ to be a regular target for friendly fire. A Pentagon official expressed regret at the UK’s decision: ‘You can’t even begin to list all the fun you guys missed when you opted out of Vietnam. Persia, Afghanistan, Black Ops in South America…you can’t tell me that doesn’t get you wet? This War on Terror is going to roll and roll – next stop Vatican City, baby!’
Mr. Gates pointed out that the UK could lose its position as a ‘major player’ on the world stage if the MoD insists on ‘keeping people alive’. In response, a MoD spokesman said: ‘While it’s been fun, maybe it’s time to step off this emotional rollercoaster? As much as we would like to lay down our lives to maintain low gas prices in the US, having the fourth biggest defence budget but only the eighth biggest economy, we’re feeling a little overstretched. Maybe it’s someone else’s turn? Italy? France? I hear the Swiss can get feisty if provoked.’