Testifying today to the Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno continued to rail against sequestration cuts which have been entirely ignored in practice, claiming they would require a cut of 46% of the Army’s active-duty combat brigades.
The Army has sought to address planning for sequestration by ignoring cuts to everything else pretty much entirely and just figuring out how many troops they’d “lose” under the plan.
The plan is entirely theoretical, of course, and in practice Congress has totally ignored sequestration when making its final budgets, sticking all the savings from “required cuts” back into the military coffers.
In that regard, today’s testimony was identical to countless other Pentagon testimonies to Congress, which have all centered on scary-sounding plans no one seriously expected to put in place, and opportunities for hawks to tout their calls for spending increases as the only reasonable course.
The one difference today was Gen. Odierno deciding to play the Russia card during his testimony, hyping the need for sustained US military involvement in Eastern Europe in response to “Russian aggression.”