A CHRONIC shortage of manpower is threatening the operational capability of the armed forces, MPs said last night.
Family lives are also under threat as servicemen are not given enough time off between deployments, according to a damning report.
Sections of the forces, such as medical staff, are so undermanned there is not enough capacity to give people time off.
The Government has faced criticism over claims the forces are overstretched by the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The report from the all-party Commons select committee, released last night, said the forces were reaching crisis point as the number of personnel joining the front line is failing and the number leaving early is increasing.
Staffing shortages mean that personnel are having to spend increasingly long periods away from their families, and gaps between deployments are narrowing.
This is breaking 'Harmony Guidelines', designed to help servicemen rest and recuperate, putting families under 'intense …