View Full Version : Military Readiness: Implications for Our Strategic Posture

02-15-2008, 02:58 PM
14 Feb 08 HASC testimony on Military Readiness: Implications for Our Strategic Posture:

Michèle Flournoy (http://armedservices.house.gov/pdfs/FC021408/Flournoy_Testimony021408.pdf), Center for a New American Security

....The readiness of the U.S. military is just barely keeping pace with current operations. In the Army, the only BCTs considered fully ready are those that are deployed or are about to deploy. The fight to recruit and keep personnel, and the need to repair and modernize equipment also means that building and regaining readiness is becoming increasingly costly. The Army is spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year on advertising designed to attract recruits. Meanwhile, it has estimated that it will need between $12 and $13 billion per year to replace lost, damaged and worn equipment for the duration of the war in Iraq and beyond. The Marine Corps requested nearly $12 billion for reset in FY2007. Bringing the National Guard’s equipment stock up to even 75% of authorized levels will take $22 billion over the next five years. In the current budgetary environment, services are also struggling to balance resources between reconstituting current stocks and modernizing for the future.....
Steve Kosiak (http://armedservices.house.gov/pdfs/FC021408/Kosiak_Testimony021408.pdf), Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

....The rational for expanding the Army and Marine Corps is that it will improve the ability of the US military to sustain large-scale, long-term stability operations. However, this expansion will be costly in budgetary terms and may be achievable only if the Services are willing to accept some reduction in personnel quality. Moreover, because the Army plans to use the additional troops to man general purpose brigade combat teams (BCTs), rather than units designed for irregular warfare and building partner capacity (e.g., training, equipping and advising indigenous forces), the expansion—which would increase the number for active duty BCTs by six, or 14 percent—is likely to provide only a modest improvement in the Service’s ability to sustain stability operations. Put differently, although the purported justification for the expansion is the need to grow the Service’s capacity for stability operations, as currently envisioned, the expansion is focused much more on increasing the Army’s conventional capabilities—where it already appears to have excess capacity—than its ability to sustain large-scale, long-term stability operations. As such, it is questionable whether the proposed expansion of the US military represents a cost-effective investment.....
Sharon Pickup (http://armedservices.house.gov/pdfs/FC021408/Pickup_Testimony021408.pdf), GAO

While DOD has overcome difficult challenges in maintaining a high pace of operations over the past 6 years and U.S. forces have gained considerable combat experience, our work has shown that extended operations in Iraq and elsewhere have had significant consequences for military readiness, particularly with regard to the Army and Marine Corps. To meet mission requirements specific to Iraq and Afghanistan, the department has taken steps to increase the availability of personnel and equipment for deploying units, and to refocus their training on assigned missions. For example, to maintain force levels in theater, DOD has increased the length of deployments and frequency of mobilizations, but it is unclear whether these adjustments will affect recruiting and retention. The Army and Marine Corps have also transferred equipment from nondeploying units and prepositioned stocks to support deploying units, affecting the availability of items for nondeployed units to meet other demands. In addition, they have refocused training such that units train extensively for counterinsurgency missions, with little time available to train for a fuller range of missions. Finally, DOD has adopted strategies, such as relying more on Navy and Air Force personnel and contractors to perform some tasks formerly handled by Army or Marine Corps personnel. If current operations continue at the present level of intensity, DOD could face difficulty in balancing these commitments with the need to rebuild and maintain readiness......