Thursday, August 11, 2016

Petraeus Argues Military Readiness Crisis Is a 'Myth'

Retired Gen. David Petraeus joined in an op-ed piece Wednesday that said doomsday predictions of a growing military readiness gap were largely a myth.

"While there are areas of concern, there is no crisis in military readiness," Petraeus and Michael O'Hanlon, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, wrote for The Wall Street Journal.

The service chiefs all have made readiness a top priority, and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has repeatedly called military preparedness a "disaster," but Petraeus and O'Hanlon said that there was more than enough money in current and projected budgets to meet any concerns.

"The current national defense budget of over $600 billion a year far exceeds the Cold War average of about $525 billion (in inflation-adjusted 2016 dollars) and the $400 billion spent in 2001, according to official Pentagon and Office of Management and Budget data," Petraeus and O'Hanlon said.

"Spending has been reduced from the levels of the late Bush and early Obama years, but that isn't unreasonable in light of scaled-down combat operations abroad and fiscal pressures at home," they said.

"Assuming no return to sequestration, as occurred in 2013, Pentagon budgets to buy equipment now exceed $100 billion a year, a healthy and sustainable level. The so-called "procurement holiday" of the 1990s and early 2000s is over." more