The U.S. armed services, widely recognized as the world’s most ready and mobile military, is painting a picture of itself as a stagnant force trapped at home under automatic spending cuts just three weeks away.
Army brigades won’t be ready to fight. Navy aircraft carriers won’t deployed. The Air Force won’t be able to operate radar surveillance 24 hours a day.
The dire scenarios are contained in a series of memos sent to Congress and obtained by The Washington Times. They stir memories of the late 1970s, when the Army declared itself a “hollow force” because depleted combat units could not perform in a war.
In the current instance, an Army memo uses the physiological term “atrophy” to underscore a warning that it will not be able to command brigade combat teams that can respond to hot spots outside of Afghanistan and South Korea.
“The strategic impact is a rapid atrophy of unit combat skills with a failure to meet demands of the National Military Strategy by the end of this year,” the Army wrote in a recent memo to Capitol Hill.
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