Service Chiefs: More Cuts Equal Casualties

NGAUS Washington Report

(Nov. 12, 2013) The service chiefs were blunt last week when they appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee, telling the lawmakers that continued cuts under sequestration would have a serious impact on the battlefield.

Gen. Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, said, "We will not be able to train them for the mission they're going to have to do. We will have to send them without the proper training, and actually maybe [without] proper equipment. ... So that always relates to potentially higher casualties."

His words were echoed by Gen. James Amos, the Marine commandant, who said, "We are headed towards a force in not too many years that will be hollow back home and not ready to deploy. And if they do deploy, they will enter harm's way, we'll end up with more casualties."

Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, the Air Force chief of staff, and Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, had similar dire words for the panel.

"If we're not ready for all possible scenarios, then we're accepting the notion that it's OK to get to the fight late," Welsh said.

He said entire fleets of aircraft may be retired to make up for the money lost to cuts. The Air Force has said the A-10 Thunderbolt may have to be sacrificed if the cuts continue.