Beneath the positive press the military receives for preparing to mold women into the nation’s first female ground warriors this year, there is another story far more basic to war fighting.
Some lawmakers are warning that budget cuts, a troop drawdown and a decade and a half of wars have created spotty combat readiness, overburdened forces, more fatal accidents and beat-up weapons.
Weeks of congressional testimony from the top brass on next year’s $524 billion defense budget shows that many Army brigades and Air Force squadrons are less ready. The Marine Corps lacks sufficient aircraft to fully train pilots. The Army and Marine Corps can wage small wars but doubt they can meet the demands of a major conflict against, say, China or Russia, in a time frame called for in official military strategy.
Closing the gap was also mentioned here years ago. If they, especially China and Russia, are not already on par with U.S. capability, they will be within the next few years. Today’s unintelligence community seems to always be a few years behind the curve.
As both quality and quantity of U.S. forces continue to take an intentional suicidal dive, in five to ten years, maybe an invasion of the United States mainland by China and Russia won’t be so laughable.
U.S. adversaries including China, Russia, and Iran are developing military capabilities that will allow them to compete with shrinking and aging American forces in the coming years, according to a new report.
The report, authored by the American Enterprise Institute and the Foreign Policy Initiative, warns that U.S. adversaries have been bolstering their militaries and purchasing cheaper weapon systems as the United States cuts its defense budget and delays acquisition of new equipment. Both China and Russia have increased their defense budgets by double digits in recent years, for example, while the United States could reduce its military spending by as much as $1 trillion in a decade under cuts known as sequestration.
The size of the U.S. Navy fleet and the total number of Air Force squadrons have dwindled by more than half since the end of the Cold War. Of the 54 squadrons, less than half are combat ready. Continue reading