Defense

June 25, 2012

Odierno addresses Army’s future, budget cuts

by Katie Nelson and William Garbe
Army News

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno sat down with Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose, June 20, 2012, in Washington, D.C., to discuss transition in the Army.

The Army’s chief of staff said the force will focus more in the future on supporting combatant commanders around the world, especially in the Pacific.

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno answered questions about the future of the Army, June 20, 2012, at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

Odierno sat down with Foreign Affairs editor Gideon Rose to follow up on a commentary he authored regarding transition in the Army. The general said the Army needs to understand the current strategic environment.

“The strategic environment is changing, it’s becoming more complex, and the solutions to the strategic environment are constantly changing,” Odierno said. “And so we have to think about how we’re going to change with them.”

The general cited the necessity of creating a force prepared for situations beyond the Middle East.

“We’ve taken them [Soldiers] to conduct missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places,” Odierno said. “So one of the first priorities I have is making sure that they remain now dedicated to the Pacific region as we shift our emphasis.”

Throughout the 2000s, the Army grew to meet the demands of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, Odierno said. Now, it must adjust once again.

“As we look to the future, as I mentioned, we have to look at the strategic environment,” he said. “And what I worry about is we have to maintain a balanced portfolio within the Department of Defense in order to deal with the great uncertainty that is out there.”

Odierno also addressed the topic of sequestration as a “forcing function” established by Congress to achieve agreement on deficit reduction. The general said the effects of sequestration would be devastating to leader development and could cause the Army to fall on contracts.

“If I just look at the parameters of the bill which says every line item in the Department of Defense budget will take a 10-to-12-to-15-percent cut across the board, [that] creates all kinds of chaos within our system,” he said.

Should the Joint Select Committee on Budget Reduction fail to find an effective way to slash $1.2 trillion from the national deficit, or pass alternate legislation, money from government programs will be sequestered. The bulk of those funds will be taken from the military. The Army is already cutting $487 billion from its budget.

Odierno said the Army would have to re-evaluate defense strategy if sequestration took place. This reevaluation would require a reduction in troops, and a combined reduction of the active and reserve components.

“I think it would put us beyond the fringes of what I consider to be acceptable risk, for us to be able to respond to this broad variety of threats,” Odierno said. “So, to me, I think it’s dangerous.”

The general said Americans should be mindful that people around the world pay attention to the actions of the United States, and that decisions, or lack of decisions on the part of American lawmakers, could heavily influence global opinion of the United States.

“If we continue to be perceived as being in a political deadlock where we’re not getting much done, I think that might be interpreted in some cases as being weak,” Odierno said. “And I think we have to be careful about that.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox

Kunsan AB hosts Exercise Max Thunder 14-2

Air Force photograph by SrA. Divine Cox A South Korean air force F-15 Strike Eagle lands Nov. 17, 2014, during Max Thunder 14-2 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy personnel and aircraft...
 
 

Three bases identified as F-16 aggressor candidate bases

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Joseph Swafford Jr. A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron lands at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Oct. 6 during RED FLAG-Alaska 15-1. RF-A is a series of Pacific Air Forces commander-directed field training exercises for U.S. and partner nation...
 
 
Air Force photograph

Arc-heated facilities at AEDC offer unique test capabilities for hypersonic programs

Air Force photograph This photo shows the arc heater H3 being test fired prior to the installation of a model injection system. The AEDC High Temperature Materials Characterization and Evaluation is unique in capability and is ...
 

 
Navy photograph

U.S. Navy commemorates C-2 Greyhound’s 50th anniversary of first flight

Navy photograph Nov. 18 marked the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Navy’s C-2A Greyhound. The “workhorse” of the fleet took to the skies Nov. 18, 1964, from Bethpage, N.Y.   For nearly 50 years, the C-2A ...
 
 

Air Force announces criteria for KC-46A Reserve basing

After extensive internal review, the Air Force on Nov. 9, released the basing criteria that will be used to select candidate bases for the first Reserve-led KC-46A main operating base. The KC-46As will begin arriving at the first Air Force Reserve-led global mobility wing in fiscal year 2019. The basing criteria under consideration include mission...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis

The footprint of the Jolly Green Giant

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin R. Babis Airmen from the 56th Rescue Squadron tackle Capt. Robert Smith, 56th Rescue Squadron executive officer, after his fini-flight, or final flight, at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, N...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>