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"The U.S. Army May Have Prepared for the Wrong War" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Mar 2017 9:08 p.m. PST

"On February 7, Vice Chief of Staff for the Army Gen. Daniel Allyn stated that only three of fifty-eight combat brigades in the U.S. Army were sufficiently trained for wartime deployment, blaming the condition on sequestration. It is not the lack of money, however, that is behind the army's inability to maintain ready forces. Rather, it is the obsolete force structure the army has maintained since World War II. Fortunately, modern thinking and a new organization for the army could reverse this trendówithout requiring an increase in the budget.

Just four years earlier, then Army chief of staff Gen. Ray Odierno claimed that the United States only had two trained army brigades, also blaming the lack of readiness on sequestration. The army is by no means under a cash crunch with an annual budget of $148 USD billion…"
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zoneofcontrol11 Mar 2017 5:24 p.m. PST

February is the opening of hearings on upcoming budget proposals. There will be some great tales of woe, some just and some not, but all sad indeed. Brother, can you spare a dime?

Lion in the Stars12 Mar 2017 3:00 a.m. PST

Sequestration did horrible things to the US military. All the dollars that couldn't be spent had to come out of the operations and training budget, since by law the DoD cannot change the contracts without Congressional approval.

Worse, the US was in the middle of a shooting war, so the operations budget couldn't be cut.

That left training and maintenance as the only place that the DoD could cut spending to comply with the sequestration cuts.

zoneofcontrol12 Mar 2017 11:16 a.m. PST

Previous administration and congress did not enact a budget for 5 or 6 years, only passing spending provisions when the money ran out. For all the verbiage about putting people back to work, a good place to start would be DC.

Rakkasan Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 1:49 p.m. PST

Not sure your source Lion in the Stars but operations were not impacted by sequestration nor was training. Funds for training and maintenance are always perceived to be short but the Army has spent increasingly more on those things over the past 15 years. The Army chose to cut manpower to save money in other areas.

The important factors were the inability of the Army staff to focus beyond the current fight for much of the past 15 years, the surprising (to many military leaders and to political leaders) resurgence of Russia, and a lack of understanding of not only the future foes but how they may fight. R and D funds and intellectual capital were poured into making better material and equipment for the current fight and not towards future threats.

The current Chief gets it and has been trying to make up for lost time. Until the national leadership clearly articulates the foe or foes, threats or threats that the US needs to build a force to confront, then there is difficulty in not only getting money but even identifying the programs that the funds will be spent on.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 2:40 p.m. PST

Funding for conventional "line units" had also taken a backseat to special operations, which expanded greatly over the last 15 years. Whether or not devoting the lion's share of resources to fighting limited hybrid conflicts at the expense of large scale convention wars is the right thing to do is open to debate, of course.

Lion in the Stars12 Mar 2017 3:21 p.m. PST

@Rakkasan, the USAF and USN had to stop all flights that weren't directly related to combat operations or getting pilots qualified to fly into combat. Both the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels didn't fly for a year due to sequestration, and then took another year to get back to performance-ready status due to their lack of training hours.

I know operations couldn't take any cuts, I said so.

Training and Maintenance is what took the hits. If a unit wasn't getting ready to deploy to the Sandbox, it didn't any expensive training. No long exercises off-base or requiring lots of support on-base, minimal shooting.

Units coming back from the Sandbox didn't get their equipment refurbished like it needed to be after a year in combat.

Rakkasan Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 6:22 p.m. PST

There is no operations budget. There is the contingency fund which DOD has put a lot of activities into beyond combat operations. As I said, refurbishment is not happening partially due to requirements on that equipment in current operations and the uncertainty regarding what type of refurbishment would be conducted. This is especially true for the fighter aircraft. The F35 program was supposed to make many other platforms obsolete. That is the party line and funding was set aside accordingly. The complications with that program, coupled with Service decisions to move money away from their fleets brought about the some of the issues that we with the fighter fleets today. The Services chose to express their displeasure with the sequestration issue to cancel air show support. Sequestration did not go away and amazingly enough, the services are supporting air shows again. It was a red herring.
The Army has a long history of focusing resources on units going to an operational mission. This was true in the years before sequestration. On Ft Hood the brigade or separate units that were deploying got people, training areas, spare parts, and this was in 2004 through 2009, years before sequestration took hold.
So, no, it is not sequestration. It is a result of a dynamic deployment schedule, poor Service planning, and short term operational requirements.

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