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Gen. Ray Odierno: Troop Reduction Could Impact Tiered Readiness Strategy

Gen. Ray Odierno
Gen. Ray Odierno

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno said 490,000 soldiers may not be enough to sustain the government’s tiered readiness strategy following the U.S. war in Afghanistan, Breaking Defense reported Monday.

Sydney Freedberg Jr. writes Odierno noted that the risk of instability in certain regions of the world has increased since he first quoted the figure in a testimony to lawmakers in 2012.

“The problem is since we made those statements, the world is changing in front of us,” the Army chief was quoted as telling reporters on the sidelines of an Association of the United States Army event.

According to Freedberg’s report, Odierno indicated that current events in the world stage should be factored in when making plans on further ground troop reduction.

He also drew attention to soldier training, which he said has become more mission-specific in ways that could affect future capabilities in a major crisis.

“Beginning in ’16 we’re not going to be able to sustain the level of readiness [we need] if the commitments continue at the level they are now,” Odierno said.

“I swore that I would never send soldiers into a place not properly prepared, trained or equipped, and I’ll probably get away with that because I’ll leave at the end of this year, beginning of next year, but I worry for the next chief.”

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