Sequestration Could Mean More Casualties, Says Army Chief Of Staff

During a discussion Monday at the American Enterprise Institute, General Raymond Odierno said that defense sequestration may result in more casualties since soldiers will not be fully trained to be ready for combat.

Odierno

By Catalina Lehmann

“What keeps me up at night is that if I am asked to deploy 20,000 soldiers somewhere, I am not sure I can guarantee that they are trained to a level that I think they should be over the next two or three years because of the way sequestration is being enacted, and that’s really of a concern for me,” Odierno said when asked about his greatest concern regarding sequestration.

The sequester, a series of mandatory, across-the-board spending cuts that took effect on March 1, will reduce the Pentagon’s budget by about $85 billion this year.

Odierno said that sequestration is taking a toll on training new Army recruits.

“Yes we’ll still send soldiers. Yes, we’ll be able to train them to a lower level and they’ll be individually ready, but they will not have been able to train collectively, the way we would like,” he said. “That means operations will take longer, but most importantly it probably equals more casualties.”

Odierno added that the Army is faced with problems when recruiting 18-24 year olds because the men do not meet the requirements needed to serve — a high school diploma and sufficient physical fitness.

“The problem we have is not the propensity to serve, he said. “The problem we have is, are they qualified to meet our requirements to serve?”

“What we’re finding is that about 23 percent are qualified to come in to serve.”

Tags: , ,

About TRNS Washington Desk

View all posts by TRNS Washington Desk
TRNS Washington Desk
News updates from on and around Capitol Hill.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Senate Passes Fast-track Authority, Moves To Resistant House

The bill moves on to the lower chamber where it faces an inevitable battle from House Democrats.

Senate Rejects Currency Provision

Senate Republicans (Photo by James Cullum)

The failed provision is a win for President Obama who issued a veto threat over the entire fast-track bill if the amendment passed

UN: Women Disproportionately Affected by Nepal Earthquake

The flag of the Nepal at the United Nations. Photo: Luke Vargas/TRNS

Gender discrimination, a lack of maternal health facilities and poor security in temporary camps is making post-earthquake life difficult for Nepali women.

The World in 2:00 – May 22, 2015

The World in 2:00 continents logo

UN data shows women disproportionately affected by the Nepal earthquake and Irish voters are poised to legalize same-sex marriage in a national vote today.

Obama Signs Law Granting Congressional Review Of Iran Deal

Capitol

Congress will now be able to reject or approve a nuclear deal reached with Iran which is expected to be announced June 30

Obama Reaffirms Support For Israel, Defends Iran Nuclear Action

“It would be a moral failing on my part if we did not stand up firmly, steadfastly not just on behalf of Israel’s right to exist, but its right to thrive and prosper,” Obama said .