Last month, Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno warned the armed services committees in the House and Senate that their service’s readiness is rapidly approaching a crisis state. Budget cuts have resulted in cancellation of new depot maintenance work for the next two quarters and curtailment of training to 80% of the force. The only soldiers getting everything they need to maintain a high state of readiness are either in Afghanistan or headed there soon; elsewhere, training and sustainment is being slashed — even in Korea. McHugh and Odierno say the Army can cope with these setbacks for a few months, but if Washington’s budget wars persist into future years the size and capabilities of the force will inevitably erode. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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