Is the US Army Near a Breaking Point? | World Defense

Is the US Army Near a Breaking Point?

Justin

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Is the US Army Near a Breaking Point?

Joining a chorus of senior Pentagon officials and military officers, acting Undersecretary for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson warned in an interview with Stars and Stripes that the U.S. Army – the world’s deadliest conventional fighting force – will be near breaking point if automatic sequestration, set to begin in October, takes place.

The U.S. Army could be cut down from 450,000 to 420,000 active duty soldiers should sequestration – automatic spending cuts across the board in order to reduce federal expenditure – continue with the result that the army would not be able to meet its current deployments.

“The Army’s near breaking point if you go that low, I think. Already we see the fact that people are demanding the Army do many missions — from West Africa and the Ebola crisis to now resurgent problems in Iraq, Syria. Russia of course posing a threat,” Carson said. “So the demand on the Army is not slackening at all, and at the same time, their numbers are falling.”

Less manpower available, means more soldiers deploying more often, which in turn affects the readiness of the U.S. Army, Carson notes:

This has a real cost, a real cost to their readiness, because when they’re out in the field, they’re not training. Across all the services — the Marine Corps the same — the personnel cuts have been deep. And if they go much deeper, they will become a matter of grave worry to us all.

The U.S. Army currently fields the smallest force since the beginning of World War II. In July 2015, a document obtained by USA Today outlines that the Pentagon plans to cut another 40,000 soldiers and 17,000 Army civilian employees by the end of September 2018 with reductions bottoming out at around 450,000 active duty soldiers by then.

Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff, general Ray Odierno, voiced his grave concern over troop reductions back in July noting that the U.S. military can no longer deter conflict due to the shrinking number of soldiers: “The reason we have a military is to deter conflict and prevent wars. And if people believe we are not big enough to respond, they miscalculate.”

A February 2015 report by the Heritage Foundation indexing U.S. military strengths reiterates the dangers of fiscal constraint:

The common theme across the services and the United States’ nuclear enterprise is one of force degradation resulting from many years of underinvestment, poor execution of modernization programs, and the negative effects of budget sequestration (i.e., cuts in funding) on readiness and capacity.

The study also notes that the United States will have difficulties fighting two regional wars simultaneously (the so-called Major Regional Contingency strategy) despite maintaining the world’s largest defense budget.



Is the US Army Near a Breaking Point? | The Diplomat
 

LilAnn

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Its so crazy that when you are talking about close to 1/2 million soldiers, 30,000 can make that much of a difference.
 

Sinan

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No it is not going to be break. France and England already decreased the number of their soldiers. There is no imminent threat to US, so it can try to lower it's costs.
 

Lieutenant

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Make sense to me. It used to take 4-5 soldiers to operate an air defense system like the Patriot. Now only 2 can handle it.
 

LilAnn

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Make sense to me. It used to take 4-5 soldiers to operate an air defense system like the Patriot. Now only 2 can handle it.
I spend a lot of time trying to predict where drones and robots will replace people in the private sector. I never thought about how many soldiers are being made obsolete because of technology. This is going to keep my mind busy for at least the next 2 shifts at work.
 

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I spend a lot of time trying to predict where drones and robots will replace people in the private sector. I never thought about how many soldiers are being made obsolete because of technology. This is going to keep my mind busy for at least the next 2 shifts at work.
Have you every played Battlefield 2024? It expands your imagination on what may future looks like in term of military hardwares.



 

LilAnn

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Have you every played Battlefield 2024? It expands your imagination on what may future looks like in term of military hardwares.



I've never played, or even seen it. If it isn't on PS3 or PS4 my husband doesn't play it, so I never get a look at it. It looks really cool. I may have to check it out if my computer can handle it.
 

T-123456

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Its so crazy that when you are talking about close to 1/2 million soldiers, 30,000 can make that much of a difference.
Dont take this article to serious,for the US,30k less soldiers doesnt make a difference at all.
 

Scorpion

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Dont take this article to serious,for the US,30k less soldiers doesnt make a difference at all.
High and advanced military tech plays a role in this.
 

Waynefire

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Look at the source of the interview. It is a Pentagon official. While I agree, the number of soldiers is getting lowered can affect the readiness and create quiet a bit of undue stress on the soldiers, it is coming from the stand point of a Pentagon official. Who is going to say any decrease in defense spending is going to be harmful to the US. However, with that being said, if the forces drop much lower it could be quite a bit of stress on the forces. Look at what happened in WWI and WWII the forces were drawn down and then all the uproar happened and caught the governments unprepared for a global conflict.
 

LilAnn

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I've been thinking about technology decreasing the number of soldiers we
need. I would love some input from you guys. Here's what I have come up with so far. One pilot flies a jet. Jet crashes, soldier dies, and new jet and new soldier takes their place. So, if jets (and whatever else can be) is being replaced by drones and such, when they crash the soldier controlling it survives. Then the drone is replaced and the soldier is just fine to control the next one. Am I making any sense? Raising the life expectancy soldier should lower the number of necessary soldiers, right?
 

Falcon29

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The reserves and security firms(which receive same training of soldiers) make up for it.
 

T-123456

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I've been thinking about technology decreasing the number of soldiers we
need. I would love some input from you guys. Here's what I have come up with so far. One pilot flies a jet. Jet crashes, soldier dies, and new jet and new soldier takes their place. So, if jets (and whatever else can be) is being replaced by drones and such, when they crash the soldier controlling it survives. Then the drone is replaced and the soldier is just fine to control the next one. Am I making any sense? Raising the life expectancy soldier should lower the number of necessary soldiers, right?
Yes you are,the better the technology,the lesser personnel needed.
What good is the 2/3 million army of North-Korea when the South can wipe them out with a substantial smaller but better equiped army in a conventional war?
 

Rowe992

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Well let them continue to cut the number of soldiers. We will only find out how much of an impact this has when the US is at war again and man power will be needed. The British have done it and now they can't even let Russia stop flying nuclear bombers in their airspace.
 

vegito12

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I reckon that the US army uses drones more than people in most wars now and don't think the military will suffer from a reduction of soldiers in some areas, and hope it works out and sent to the important areas. I think that the money needs to be spent where it is needed and if cuts are made, it should be for things which are not needed and can be cut out and choices need to be made which are for the good of the country. It is important to be up front with the people so they know what is going on and can have faith in the military, to protect the country from invaders or terrorists.
 

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