Shocking admission on Army preparedness: No training the last 6 months
By Andrew Malcolm
Posted 09:33 AM ET
While the president of the United States pitched his crumbling healthcare program like a late-night infomercial barker, the Army's chief of staff made a shocking admission about national defense.
Gen. Ray Odierno told a Washington conference Monday that the U.S. Army had not conducted any training in the last six months of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
And, he said, there currently are only two Army brigades rated combat-ready. That's a total of between 7,000 to 10,000 troops and less than one-third what the combat veteran regards as necessary for proper national security.
"Right now," Odierno said, "we have in the Army two brigades that are trained. That's it. Two."
Odierno also revealed that troops shipping out to Afghanistan now are prepared only to train and assist Afghan troops, not to conduct combat operations themselves. But, of course, there's no guarantee the Americans won't find themselves in combat while accompanying Afghan soldiers.
All this to obey Obama administration orders to drastically cut the Army and military spending and meet cuts under sequestration. Since the Obama Pentagon began the troop draw-down two years ago under the president's orders, more than 33,000 active duty soldiers have been cut.
Current plans call for additional reductions of 42,000 soldiers in the next 23 months to a total of 490,000, down from 570,000. Those cuts have been accelerated by two years under Pentagon orders and will involve involuntary separations of thousands.
But under directions from Obama Defense Secy. Chuck Hagel last summer, military planners now anticipate administration orders to sever another 70,000 active-duty Army personnel at all levels, most of them unwillingly and after receiving expensive training. The 420,000-level is the absolute minimum Odierno says he can effectively operate, but he warns equipment updating and purchases have already been adversely affected.
"The worst-case scenario," Odierno said, "is you ask me to deploy thousands of soldiers somewhere and we have not properly trained them to go because we simply don't have the dollars and money."
The Obama military draw-downs that hit the Army the hardest come on top of an apparent ongoing purge among some of the nation's top veteran generals, as we reported here.
Ten days ago, two more generals in charge of the country's nuclear weapons were fired by this administration, allegedly for personal misconduct.
The ongoing housecleaning of top military brass or whatever it is seems peculiarly meticulous given these disturbing cover-up facts in other scandals:
---Obama has fired not one single person for the inadequate security and response in the deadly Benghazi attack last year that saw four Americans killed;
---No one fired for the lethal Fast and Furious gun-running operation of the Justice Department and the attorney general's professed ignorance of the activities under his supervision;
---No one fired for the illegal use of the Internal Revenue Service to target and intimidate political opponents of this Democrat administration, preventing their participation in the 2012 campaign.
The No. 2 State Department official in the Libyan Embassy was, however, sidelined and demoted after meeting with a visiting congressman to answer his questions about the deadly night of 9/11/12.
Across town, Obama was forced to make a non-military admission of his own Monday. With a cadre of innocent civilians standing with him in the Rose Garden as living props for ObamaCare, Obama was wading through a 3,600-word defense of his troubled signature legislation.
Behind him, one of the women could take no more. She fainted on national TV, interrupting the president. "No, no, you're OK," Obama said wishfully. "This happens when I talk too long. You'll be OK. Here, why don't you go?"
Don't worry though. The commander-in-chief did not let that pregnant woman's health issue impede his healthcare pitch.
With the stricken woman removed, Obama turned back to the podium. Where he bravely continued his remarks until he'd said everything he came to say.