Admiral Adam West, former British First Sea Lord, has warned against further cuts to the number of Royal Navy personnel, bemoaning the fact that the country's naval forces "are not operating to their full potential," which he said is "extremely worrying."
"People like [Russian President] Vladimir Putin must look and have a bit of a laugh at this great maritime nation of ours," West was quoted by The Mirror as saying.
In this vein, he urged the government to increase defense spending and deliver an "uplift" in the number of Royal Navy recruits, which he said could add to the navy's defense capability.
West's remarks came after UK media reported that the country's military spending has been slashed to almost half since the end of the Cold War, something that had a negative impact on Royal Navy vessels at sea.
"We are a leading defense nation and that will continue," she added.
However, the UK remains one of the few European countries that is out of sync with NATO's target spending of two percent of GDP on defense.