The Telegraph reports serious concerns at the readiness of the Armed Forces:
"Less than half of all military units are able to deploy on operations in an emergency, the lowest number ever recorded by the Ministry of Defence.
MPs rounded on the Government accusing it of endangering national security and "devastating" the military by fighting on two fronts.
Figures also show that over the last year the Army has seen a shortfall of three battalions, or 1500 recruits, graduating through training with only 84 per cent of the target of 9,200 trained soldiers being achieved.
Similarly there was a shortfall of 40 Army officers graduating from Sandhurst."
Overstretching the army in this way will have a terrible effect on recruitment and retention of good soldiers and the proper maintenance of sufficient equipment. These effects won't be felt immediately, though, as the military will do all they can to keep things together. However, over years and decades if the armed forces are not properly managed and resourced the strain will tell and, in some future crisis, we won't be able to call on the effective military we expect.
Unfortunately, as most ministers are only in their posts for a few short years, they have every incentive to leave these problems to another day.