Budget Cuts to Have ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ on US Military

Budget Cuts to Have ‘Catastrophic Consequences’ on US Military © Flickr/ U.S. Pacific Fleet

05:41 10.07.2015(updated 07:57 10.07.2015) Get short URL
http://sputniknews.com/us/20150710/1024440661.html

US Army will reportedly see spending cuts beginning October 1 in the absence of congressional action to change budget law.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Spending caps on the US Army will prove disastrous for its readiness, General Joseph Dunford Jr. told the Senate Armed Services Committee, according to a Department of Defense News report.

“If we go into sequestration, we’ll be unable to support the current strategy that we have to protect our nation,” Dunford told the Committee at his confirmation hearing on Thursday to become the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the News said. “The readiness of the joint force, the modernization of the joint force will suffer what I would describe — and without exaggeration — as catastrophic consequences.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Dunford will take over as Joint Chiefs Chairman from Army General Martin Dempsey on October 1, 2015.

Under the sequestration approved by Congress in 2011, spending caps will take effect on October 1 in the absence of congressional action to change budget law.

The News also noted in another report on Thursday that the US Army faces a cumulative loss of 150,000 soldiers — a 26 percent cut — over a seven year period.

Paralleling Dunford’s warning, the News report said the resulting force would be incapable of simultaneously meeting current deployment requirements and responding to the overseas contingency requirements of all US combatant commands.

Budget constraints are forcing the Army’s reduction, US Army Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans, Lt. General Joseph Patterson told the News.

“These were very difficult decisions to make as all of our installations and their communities offer tremendous value to our Army and the nation,” Patterson said. “In the end, we had to make decisions based on a number of strategic factors, to include readiness impacts, mission command and cost.”

Pentagon officials also said they had decided on the necessary force reductions in ways that would best allow the smaller US Army to meet its global commitments, the News reported.

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