Army chief warns budget cuts 'make us somewhat vulnerable' to attack

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Army,National Security,Military Budget,Budgets and Deficits,Sequester

The ongoing budget sequester, mostly cemented in the new Republican-Democratic budget compromise, will make the nation “somewhat vulnerable” to attack in the next few years as the military absorbs bruising budget cuts, warned the nation's top Army officer.

Gen. Raymond. T Odierno, United States Army chief of staff, says that the readiness of the service’s brigades will suffer for three to four years as the military cuts forces and deals with the abrupt slash of $500 billion.

In a short interview with Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, Odierno explained that it will take that long for the service to handle the cuts and realign spending priorities, and that the nation in the meantime will be vulnerable.

“Because of sequestration and the front-loading of the sequestration, it causes us to reduce our readiness upfront,” said Odierno.

“So, what it’s going to do, is it’s going to reduce our capability of our brigades for a three to four year period until our end strength reductions can catch up to that. So what it will do is make us somewhat vulnerable over the next few years because we will not be able to keep the whole army at a readiness level that we think is necessary for us to meet uncertainty that we face in the world today.”

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.