Just saw this little gem from Defence economist Prof Keith Hartley on BBC website. I loved the last paragraph!! Full Article BBC News - Viewpoints: Future of the British army "There are possibilities for substitution between each of the armed forces. Air forces can undertake some of the tasks performed by armies and navies; armies can undertake some tasks usually performed by air forces (e.g. attack helicopters undertaking close air support); and the navy's nuclear forces can replace large-scale conventional forces. Within the Army, reservists can replace regulars, women can replace men, private contractors can undertake tasks usually performed by military units, and costly equipment can replace personnel. The substitution principle suggests that the defence debate needs to recognise that RAF and navy forces can substitute for Army forces. Hence, it is misleading to focus on some traditional number of personnel for the size of the Army."