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Cameron Announces U.K. Military Austerity Plan

British Prime Minister David Cameron during a visit to the White House for a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in July
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a sweeping overhaul of Britain's military intended to help clear the country's crippling national debts.

Cameron told lawmakers that there would be an 8 percent cut to the annual 37 billion pound ($59 billion) defense budget over four years.

Cameron said 17,000 troops, a fleet of fighter jets, and an aging aircraft carrier would all be sacrificed. About 25,000 civilian military staff will also lose their jobs.

The prime minister insisted there would be no cuts to spending on operations in Afghanistan, pledging better resources for personnel there.

But he acknowledged that in the future, Britain would be limited to a force of about 30,000 personnel on major operations.

Cameron also announced that a planned 20 billion pound program to replace Britain's four nuclear-armed submarines will be delayed until 2016.

compiled from agency reports