US Army Chief Gen. Ray Odierno is fighting budget cuts the only way he knows how: with hysterical rhetoric and predictions of huge imminent wars that the US isn’t ready to fight.
Yesterday, that came in the form of a warning at the Association of the United States Army, where Odierno claimed only two brigades out of the Army’s 33 brigades are even combat-ready anymore, blaming the recent government shutdown and the minor funding cuts of sequestration.
Exactly how the vast majority of US ground troops suddenly fell out of “combat ready” status so quickly is unclear, but Odierno continued with his predictions of doom and gloom today, with a leaked report providing the backdrop for his push for a much bigger budget.
In the report, Odierno dubbed a US Army of 450,000 to be at “extremely high risk,” even though at those levels the military is still receiving several times the funding of any other military on the planet.
The “risk” in this case is the risk of being unable to win a single overseas war, and Odierno included in the report his assessment that such a war is coming “much sooner than we think.”
Absent in this assessment is that the US Army has been given a military budget unmatched in all of human history annually for the past decade-plus and didn’t manage to win either of the overseas wars it fought in that period in any real sense, suggesting that Odierno’s underlying assumption that military victory depends on an even more runaway round of military spending is simply false.