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 Scott M. Ash

AF leaders seek relief from sequestration-level funding

Air Force photograph by Scott M. Ash Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James and Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Welsh III testify before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriationsí Defense Subcommitte...
 
 
navy-china

USS Fort Worth conducts CUES with Chinese Navy

The littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) practiced the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea (CUES) with the People’s Liberation Army-Navy Jiangkai II frigate Hengshui (FFG 572) Feb. 23 enhancing the professional ma...
 
 

AEGIS tracks, simulates engagement of three short-range ballistic missiles

The Missile Defense Agency and sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyers USS Carney (DDG 64), USS Gonzalez (DDG 66), and USS Barry (DDG 52) successfully completed a flight test involving the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense weapon system. At approximately 2:30 a.m., EST, Feb. 26, three short-range ballistic missile targets were launched near simultaneously from NASA’s Wallops...
 

 

DOD seeks novel ideas to shape its technological future

The Defense Department is seeking novel ideas to shape its future, and officials are looking to industry, small business, academia, start-ups, the public – anyone, really – to boost its ability to prevail against adversaries whose access to technology grows daily. The program, called the Long-Range Research and Development Plan, or LRRDP, began with an...
 
 

Air Force places 18 A-10 aircraft into ‘Backup Status’

The Air Force, with congressional authorization, will convert 18 primary combat-coded A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft from active units and place them into Backup-Aircraft Inventory status with the possibility to convert another 18 at a later date in fiscal year 2015. The secretary of Defense has authorized the Air Force to place up to a total...
 
 

AFRL shape-changing materials make form a function

Air Force Research Laboratory research is shaping the future of aerospace. Through research into soft materials called liquid crystal elastomers, AFRL scientists have developed a method to locally program the mechanical response in polymer sheets without the use of actuators and traditional mechanical parts. This research (sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research)...
 




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>