Britain's military will take two years to return to normal after it was called upon to provide 18,000 troops for the London Olympics, the chief planner warned in an interview published Tuesday.
Wing Commander Peter Daulby also told the Guardian newspaper that planned cuts to the armed forces meant Britain would not in the future be able to deal with a "national strategic shock" such as the Games.
"It just shows you the dangers of pulling the military down," he said.
"If we shrink the military, do we really understand what we are losing? Look at the speed with which we pushed up the throttle. It proves the military offers the country a huge amount of resilience."
Daulby, 45, was in charge of the operation which initially involved 5,000 personnel, but that figure increased to 18,000 when Olympic organisers realised they had underestimated the number of security staff required.
"When the requirement for venue security was doubled, that was a bit of a game changer," he explained to the Guardian.
"We had to generate 18,000 people. That does not mean that there are 18,000 spare people. It means that the government has prioritised [the Olympics].
"It will take two years to recover from this, to get back to normal, to get everything back into kilter."
Defence Secretary Philip Hammond last month outlined how the size of the army will be reduced from 102,000 regular troops to 82,000 as the country struggles to shrink its large deficit.