FORCING civilian laws on the military threatens to undermine the armed forces' ability to defend Britain, a retiring defence chief warned yesterday.
Admiral Sir Alan West who formally stepped down as head of the Royal Navy said that making service personnel abide by civilian rules on health and safety and employment rights could weaken their war-fighting capability.
"The military is different," the admiral said.
"If these rules and regulations start impinging on the professionalism and ability of these forces... then I think they have gone too far," he added.
Many servicemen have been enraged by a string of civilian prosecutions brou-ght against soldiers serving in Iraq.