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  • Standing at the Precipice: U.S. Military Readiness Set to Go Off a Cliff

    Hoping to reverse the trend of “enormous [defense] cuts” ahead, House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee chairman J. Randy Forbes (R–VA) held a hearing on the state of the military. Testifying before Congress were the vice chiefs of the four services: Army General Peter Chiarelli, Navy Admiral Jonathon Greenert, Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford, Jr., and Air Force General Phillip Breedlove.

    One of the primary drivers of decreased military readiness, according to the vice chiefs, is the unrelenting pace of operations for the past decade. No military service has been immune from wear and tear over 10 years of constant combat and other operations. According to General Dunford, two-thirds of non-deployed Marines are not at acceptable readiness levels. This means they’re unable to respond to unforeseen crises if needed.

    As Congress already knows, the Navy has seen its share of readiness problems, which are growing. Over the past year, a full half of the entire Navy was underway daily or engaged. This has led to decreased time for maintenance, which in turn has dramatically affected the quality and condition of the Navy fleet. While often forgotten, the U.S. Air Force has been flying combat operations for the past 20 years over Iraqi skies, and it has seen aircraft literally fall from the sky—likely due to wear and tear.

    The vice chiefs also painted a grim view of the military’s inability to surge if needed. The ever-increasing need for military resources in the Central Command region has left other combatant commanders lacking the capabilities they need in order to support America’s strategic interests elsewhere.

    Stretched by 10 years of war and countless other unexpected humanitarian and supporting responsibilities, the United States military is at the breaking point. If the services do not have the resources to meet the requirements of the commanders right now, they cannot be expected to meet them if Congress cuts the budget. The vice chiefs all agreed that cuts above the President’s proposed $400 billion would force “fundamental changes” in America’s grand strategy. Many things the military does today would simply stop.

    As the vice chiefs made abundantly clear, the services do not want a hollow and stretched force that superficially fulfills missions but cracks under pressure. The only alternative will be a much smaller force that is simply unable to perform the same kinds of missions the nation has come to expect from its military.

    Some may say that a decreased mission set will carry with it “acceptable risk,” but when the Marine Corps is unable to evacuate Americans and embassy staff from countries in turmoil (as in the recent Arab Spring uprisings) or the Air Force cannot rescue military personnel behind enemy lines, or the Navy cannot send ships to aid tsunami and earthquake victims, we will know that America’s military supremacy ended here—when Congress chose to reduce debt disproportionately on the backs of the military instead of addressing the Big Three entitlements that are the primary drivers of constantly growing national debt.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to Standing at the Precipice: U.S. Military Readiness Set to Go Off a Cliff

    1. captkeebz says:

      Claiming that our military needs more money is like claiming that our population needs more fast food. How about some reason and restraint with how our already immense investment is used? Put the soldier first, cut the occupations and big ticket crony contracts, and cut the BS. Our society will be better served keeping the soldiers here in the U.S. where they can raise their families and put their above-average discipline and ingenuity back into this country's crumbling communities.

    2. ABQ Greg says:

      Why don’t people get it. Obama is only going to fund his base. The money will be spent on entitlements. He will send unions special deals. Anything he cuts in the military will take years to become seen by the public. We who have served can see it but the public in general can’t.

    3. maryanne says:

      how dare you hurt our military the bravest people on this earth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this administration hate our military christians and jews!!!!!!!!! we need a new group in the white house…people who care like reagan did i have never heard so many lies this administration tells….we need REAL AMERICANS in the white house NO SOCIALISTS!!!!!GOD BLESS THE USA

    4. Rod Davidson says:

      This administration is bound and determined to reduce the US to third world status. Obama shut down the development of the Yucca Mountain high levle radioactive waste disposal facility (recently, they suggested we send our neclear waste to Mongolia!!!???). Even though there are no US taxpayer dollars involved in building this facility (the money comes from taxing the ratepayers of nuclear utilities) Obama wanted to pay back Senator Reid and the local democrats, so he shut it down.
      And the Obama Adminsistration scrapped the next generation rocket program, designed to replace the shuttle program. Thousands of experienced, highly motivated managers, engineers and technicians have lost their jobs and we are relagated to having our astronauts sent to the space station via the Soyez spacecraft (at a cost of about $75 million per astronaut).
      The F-22 fighter jet has been capped at a measly 175 planes and who knows if the joint strike fighter program will ever produce any planes if the defense budget is further depleted.
      I am disgusted at the direction Obama is taking this once-great nation. I would hope the sheeples would arise and make their voices known by contacting their Senators and Representatives, and cleaning house in the next general election.

    5. Pingback: that hero » Boneheadedness

    6. Ron says:

      Dingy Harry Reid had little comment so long as DOE spent $14B construction Yucca Mt. Soon as it was constructed he slammed the door shut. That fuel still has tremendous amounts of energy left in it that could be used by future generations when oil is gone. Why send it anywhere else in the world so they can use it. Yucca is a wonderful and safe place to store it. Where the hell is the media on Yucca and Reid?

    7. Michael says:

      Soldiers who actually spend time stationed in a combat zone receive mega-bucks in the form of Hazard Pay. i am tired of my tax money going for pensions to non-combat military personnel who retire from the military at the age of 40, then go on to work another 20 years and collect a second pension from their other job in the private sector (at advanced pay schedule, due to their time in the military). I also pay for their college, and their housing if they live off base. Make them live like the rest of us, and work until they are 65, and pay for their own housing and schooling. Any that actually get stationed in a combat zone should be duly compensated while they are there, and their dependents taken care of if and when they are injured and/or killed in action, of course.

      • Michael who served says:

        You might want to see how much that retirement is really worth. many of our married troops are below poverty level. they have to get food stamps. you make it sound like giving up your freedom is a piece of cake. if you think its that great, get off your lazy non-serving butt and decide to put the good of the many ahead of your own. Provide some service other than flapping your mouth. oh, and that fortune they make being in combat? $150 a month.$5 a day to be shot at. boy, why they aren't all in mansions driving ferrarris is beyond me. Where do they squander that wealth? You are disgusting and it turns my stomach to know I wore a uniform for 6 years so you could have the right to speak. don't bother with thank you, you wouldn't mean it.

      • Rick says:

        Megabucks?? Hazard pay is $150 per month. By the way, it is an all-volunteer force and you had the same opportunity to "retire at age 40, then go on to work another 20 years…" Why didn't you do it? Does the rest of America move across the country every three years just to keep the job? All the other things you mention, pay for college, housing, etc…Take a look at the hard numbers and you will see that you are getting a bargain for someone that volunteers to catch bullets and shrapnel for you. Only compensating them when they go to a combat zone creates what the rest of the world calls mercenaries. The benefits offered to military members were necessary just to attract people to join, why didn't you if it is such a great deal and free ride? They don't do it for the money, and if it is a comfortable living, good. They put a hell of a lot more on the line than you do.

    8. Michael says:

      They could cut costs by pulling us out of these Unconstitutional, Undeclared (by Congress) wars. and pull us out of Germany and make them pay for their own defense. maybe they could relocate some of these soldiers to defend our borders.

    9. cktheword says:

      Yes they can cut the military budget, but cut the number of federal employees
      in the bloated Dept. of Defense and leave the soldiers alone.

    10. Pingback: President’s Debt Ceiling Agreement A Raw Deal for National Security | Americas Review

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    13. John Stewart says:

      There are so many places that can be cut in budgeting, that singling out the military as the prime place to cut is bordering on the insane. That is the one place the Federal government is mandated to serve. Why not start with the asinine bureaucratic agencies that only serve to further the nanny state, that the progressives want and cherish so dearly. Even better let's not build a turtle tunnel!

    14. John Stewart says:

      Why not cut the bloated bureaucratic agencies and duplicity that exist, rather than jump all over the one thing that the Government is mandated to do? Do we really need a tunnel for turtles?

    15. phil says:

      not one mention of the affect that women ,and the repeal of dont ask dont tell!!!!!!
      women in the military are a huge distraction,and now the idiots running the military want to put women in combat even though they cant make the grade physicaly.ifear for this country if " BARRY " gets another tearm.

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