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Strength of British military falls for ninth year

The size of Britain’s armed forces has fallen for the ninth consecutive year, new Ministry of Defence figures show.
The Army, the RAF and the Royal Navy have all seen a decline in the number of fully-trained personnel – with the Army experiencing the biggest fall.
Labour said the government was “running down” the UK military – calling it a “crisis” in recruitment and retention.
The Ministry of Defence said the armed forces continued to meet all their operational requirements.
The latest figures showed the Army was more than 7,000 troops short of the government’s target of 82,000.
In July there were 74,440 full-time and fully-trained troops, down from 76,880 last year.
There were smaller declines for the RAF and navy but they also failed to meet their target strength.
The RAF total stood at 29,930 of the required 31,840, while the Royal Navy and Royal Marines dropped to 29,090 of the required 30,600.
The MoD said it has been working hard to improve recruitment, adding that applications to join the Army were at a five-year high.
The Army raised eyebrows with its recruitment campaign at the start of the year, which used stereotypical images of millennials, including “snowflake”, and “selfie addicts”, on its posters.

The latest data showed 13,520 people had joined the regular armed forces in the last 12 months, an increase of 1,593 compared to the previous year.
However, 14,880 people also left – up from 14,860 in 2018.
Shadow defence secretary Nia Griffith said the government was running down the armed forces “year after year” and the numbers were “well below their own targets”.
She said: “Ministers are either in complete denial about this crisis in recruitment and retention, or they are actively in favour of cutting the armed forces to these historically low levels.”
MPs have repeatedly raised concerns over the use of private firm Capita in recruitment and wider efforts to retain personnel.
Capita was awarded the £495m contract for Army recruitment in 2012 – but has failed to hit soldier recruitment targets every year since.
In December last year, a National Audit Office report found that the Army’s £113m recruitment website was 52 months late.
-BBC

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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