Yes, the Secretary of Defense is losing confidence in his troops. And it’s all Congress’ fault because they won’t make the cuts in defense that he wants to make, according to Politico;
“Strengthening readiness will ultimately demand that we address unsustainable growth in personnel costs, which represent half of the department’s budget and crowds out vital spending on training and modernization,” he said. “If trends continue, we could ultimately be left with a much smaller force that is well-compensated but poorly trained and equipped. That would be unacceptable.”
Yeah, cut personnel costs and your force will be smaller than you wish. Jimmy Carter cut personnel costs and then when faced with national security threats, he reimposed draft registration in anticipation of having a hollow force if he had to deal with the Iran or the Soviet Union which had just invaded Afghanistan.
Members of Congress have so far blocked most of the Pentagon’s cost-saving proposals, including its requests for smaller pay increases, higher health care fees and base closures. Congress also has not been able to end sequestration, which Hagel said was already hurting readiness.
I have no doubt that it’s already hurting readiness. But it’s only because everyone is focused on cutting defense instead of whacking away some of the fat in the rest of the government. Because no one has the political will to tell colleges to slow down their 7%/year inflation of tuition costs, or to whack away some of the EPA, or cut some of the redundancy in agencies at the Commerce Department or cut some grants from the Education Department to states that have enough money for education but misspends it on administration instead of teaching.
No, it’s always Defense that suffers, and defense is one of the things that government is supposed to do, according to the Constitution, not the rest of that ancillary crap.
And, oh, yeah, while Hagel is crying the blues about money, Joe Bite Me and his family are touring India for four days on our dime. How does that help anyone?
Thanks to Preston for the link.