Britain's Defence Secretary Dr Liam Fox has said that he wanted to see "new career structures" and "better streamlined management" in the forces as over-complicated decision-making had "bedevilled" the UK's defence for many years.
"There is a very strong case for reducing the star count in the armed forces to create space for those coming up the ranks," The Daily Telegraph quoted Dr Fox as telling the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
Three years ago a research showed that admirals outnumbered warships in the Royal Navy.
Dr Fox has also fired the latest salvo in a bitter public exchange of views between senior politicians and armed forces chiefs, which has seen leading figures in the Royal Air Force, Navy and Army all question UK's ability to conduct wars in Libya and Afghanistan with a diminishing budget.
He said, "In a war you have got to be careful of the messaging you give to the other side. There is a time and a place for anyone in the armed forces to give ministers a message and they have a much greater chance of success in delivering it in the appropriate manner."