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.

Click here for: Friday, September 19

● Court validates Deepwater probe

● Probing the NFL’s tax and antitrust exemptions

● Household income varies among states

● Pro-Form ab GLIDER headed to dustbins

● Workforce tenure unchanged in 2014

● Violent and property crime rates declined in 2013

LISTEN: The Day Ahead – September 19, 2014

The Day Ahead Logo

Catalonia mulls its own independence referendum, John Kerry chairs a meeting of the UN Security Council and Sierra Leone begins a three day Ebola lockdown.

Kerry: “We Have The Authority, Without Any Question” To Fight ISIS Without Congress

Secretary of State John Kerry also told Congress that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been “playing Footsie” with ISIS terrorists.

Pentagon Has Plan To Battle Islamic State In Syria

Hagel told members that a plan to take on ISIS is ready, but Obama has yet to sign off on it.

Hillary Clinton Touts Women’s Issues In D.C. Visit

“We have to make these issues are part of every political debate,” Clinton said.

LISTEN: The World in Two Minutes – September 18, 2014

The World in 2:00 continents logo

Ukraine’s president addresses the U.S. Congress, a BBC film crew is attacked in Russia, and the U.N. Security Council meets on Ebola.