Army warns it could have trouble handling single war

WASHINGTON – Budget reductions could render the Army at “high risk to meet even one major war,” according to documents obtained by USA TODAY, a warning the Army is sounding because it sees another war as inevitable before long.

The Army provided its assessment as each of the services is conducting a four-year scrub of its strategy and the resources needed to meet it, a process called the Quadrennial Defense Review.

Military budget analysts say the Army is crying wolf. If it changed the way it organizes itself and how it fights, the Army can make do with far fewer soldiers, they say. They say the Army has not fully taken into account President Obama’s 2012 strategic guidance calling for smaller, more agile forces.

“They can get smaller,” said Todd Harrison, a budget expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. “They will just have to fight differently. If you can’t even fight one war, what’s the point of having an Army?”

Top Army officials briefed Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter late last month on the Army’s future and the risks associated with cutting its forces. The presentation drew dire conclusions about reducing the Army’s size beyond the 490,000 active-duty soldiers – down from a wartime high of 570,000 – it plans to have in 2017.

An Army with 450,000 soldiers is “too small” and at “high risk to meet one major war,” the documents say. The Pentagon has been structured for decades to win two separate wars.

War is likely to break out again, according to the briefing.

Full article: Army warns it could have trouble handling single war (News 10 ABC)

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