Army General Warns Sequestration is Eroding Combat Readiness

Gen. Dennis Via, commander of the Army Materiel Command, warned the cumulative impact of continued sequestration will erode readiness to the point that Army forces will be unable to respond to a future contingency. Speaking to reporters during a July 23 breakfast meeting in Washington, D.C., Via said the military is only in the second of 10 years of sequestration, but the cuts already are having an effect. “As we look around the world, we don’t know where the next contingency will be, but we know there will be another,” Via said. Sequestration is “a constant, chipping away at readiness” until units are not ready to deploy. Army readiness affects the other services, Via added, because the Army provides 40 percent of the sustainment in a combat theater, including communications, logistics, medical services, and contracting. “What I worry about is that sequestration impacts significantly on our ability to deter conflict” because adversaries will know US forces are not ready to respond. The funding cuts are particularly hard as the Army is trying to reset its equipment after 13 years of war. Via said the service will need overseas contingency funds for at least three more years.