[/quote]Four former chiefs of the defence staff have attacked the prime minister's plans to let Parliament have the final say on sending troops to war. The ex-armed forces heads told the House of Lords that the proposal was "too academic" and "devoid of realism". But the government said that in a democratic society it was right that elected MPs should decide. Earlier, the MoD denied reports that training could be cut for 1,000 new recruits to meet personnel shortages. Under the government's plans, parliament would always have to be consulted in advance unless there "is not time" to get its consent or "there is a need for covert or secret operations", such as in rescue missions.