Army Chief: Blame Sequestration For Unprepared; Understaffed Military

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According to the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, there are only two Brigades ready to answer a deployment call on short notice – a symptom, he says, of sequestration constraints that particularly affect the military.

Speaking at an Army conference Monday, Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno said the Army is currently struggling to have as many as seven Brigades (not counting those already serving in Afghanistan) ready for combat deployment by June of next year, but that could be a distant and ambitious goal.

According to The Hill, Odierno minced no words in painting a grim picture of American military preparedness:

“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.

“The worst-case scenario is you ask me to deploy thousands of soldiers somewhere, and we have not properly trained them to go, because we simply don’t have the dollars and money because of the way sequestration is laid out, that it makes it more difficult,” he said.

…Since I’ve been the chief of staff of the Army, it’s been nothing but budget uncertainty,” Odierno said. “No budgets, continuing resolutions, no planning, wasteful money, wasteful programs, because we can’t predict what budget we’re going to have as we move forward. So we’ve had great uncertainty for the last two-plus years.”

Army officials used the conference platform to divert criticisms that the current draw-down of America’s fighting forces essentially amounts to a return to the manpower levels of the pre-Iraq war days.

“Let me put it very, very simply. This is no way to manage the greatest military the world has ever known. And it sure as hell is no way to manage to greatest country on the face of this Earth,” said Army Secretary John McHugh. “…This isn’t 2002 or 2003, and the cost we pay for things have gone up significantly. I, for one, would argue that those kinds of comparisons are a fool’s errand.”

But, as The Hill pointed out, sequestration appeared to have little effect on the ability of more than 25,000 people to attend this year’s U.S. Army conference.

Hypothetically speaking, a Brigade is composed of up 5,000 soldiers, with three Brigades forming a Division.

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  • manuel

    GEN Odierno certainly has the party line down pat – the Commander in Chief, you know the pOTUS has the authority to move funds around within the Executive Branch of the government. Plus, the Dept of Defense wastes enough money to train whom ever they want to train. This line of crap is the same old spend, spend, spend b.s. I heard the entire time I served in the Pentagon. Congress should make the Army, Navy and Air Force develop realistic budgets and get on with life. Only the USMC trains and lives within the paltry budget the Navy hands them.

  • borgerboy

    lets watch enlistments go way, way down…the way the pResident hates the military and the new rules that are coming out, this is going to get very bad…
    Semper Fie

  • patsch13

    So let’s hang the military out to dry–sending them into battle stretched too thin, while we send billions of dollars to our enemies, and for what? Is there a strategy? A goal? There is no goal but an intentional mis-direction of resources to bring a formerly strong America to a compromised state. Sadly, it’s happening.

  • Don

    Hey, we need more generals like this one telling all of our enemies that we are
    very weak right now because this muslim sympathizer has used the sequester
    to lower our military strength, and if anyone thinks this is not part of Obama’s
    doings, you better think again, since he has proven that he has no shame or
    ethics when it comes to to the American people, and our rights and liberty.

    This intruder in our White House is hell bent on lowering the values of this once great country, by dismantling our Constitution & Bill of Rights by basically exercising “executive privilege” to nullify or circumvent congress altogether,

    This president has already committed fraud on the legal citizens of this united States by not living up to his oath of office when he swore he would protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America, So Help Me God!!

    ISN’T THAT A BIG ENOUGH LIE TO GET HIM IMPEACHED?

  • ibn insha

    Army Secretary, John McHugh said, “Let me put it very, very simply. This is no way to manage the greatest military the world has ever known.” You call that managing if you cannot take a penny cut from a dollar. The rest of us do it every day.

  • Ted Crawford

    This, coupled with his Stalinesque purging of our Military Command Structure seems to be Obama’s answer to the Ron Paul’s National Defense Strategy! Static Seige Mentality! Localized, consolidated and easily targeted with minimal weapons ! That worked so very well for France in the last Century!

  • Robert Messmer

    Interesting that even though the General started out blaming sequestration, which only went into effect in March, he ends by stating, “So we’ve had great uncertainty for the last two-plus years.” 2+ years and guess who has been the one running everything for more than 5 years? Can’t blame this on President Bush! Also highly interesting that Army Secretary John McHugh. “…This isn’t 2002 or 2003, and the cost we pay for things have gone up significantly” since according to Obama we have had several years with ZERO inflation and only “modest 1-2%” in the rest of them. Some body is lying! LOL