WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. Army officer told lawmakers on Tuesday that a return to deep budget cuts as required by law beginning in 2016 would make it difficult for the military to carry out even one extended ground war.
General Ray Odierno, the Army chief of staff, told a panel in the House of Representatives that severe, across-the-board budget cuts would force the Army to shrink to 420,000 active-duty soldiers, a level at which it could no longer execute the president’s national defense strategy.
President Barack Obama’s strategy issued in 2012 calls for a U.S. military strong enough to prevail in one major war while having the ability to deter an aggressor in a second conflict. That was a shift from the earlier longtime goal of being able to win two separate wars simultaneously.
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