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.
Systematically destroyed from within, under the guise of budget cuts. America is now at the peak of the process in degredation, whereas both China and Russia are on par with capability, combat readiness and deployment, or are soon to be.
Budget cuts mean only two Army brigades are combat-ready, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said Monday.
Odierno made the admission at an Army conference, where he said thousands of soldiers might not be properly trained for deployment.
“Right now, we have in the Army two brigades that are trained. That’s it. Two,” Odierno said at the annual Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference.