The unrelenting pace of military combat over the past decade has taken a substantial toll in terms of wear and tear across all wings of the armed services, leaving them at near breaking point.
In an attempt to induce a rethink on the enormous US defense cuts in the offing, house Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee chairman J Randy Forbes (R–VA) held a hearing on the state of the military that reveals its precarious condition in enforcing US interests overseas.
The services were represented by the vice chiefs of the four services: US Army general Peter Chiarelli, Navy admiral Jonathon Greenert, Marine Corps general Joseph Dunford, Jr, and Air Force general Phillip Breedlove.
According to the vice chiefs, one of the root causes of slackening military readiness was the unrelenting pace of operations over the past decade. Ten years of constant combat and other operations had taken a substantial toll in terms of wear and tear across all wings of the armed services.
General Dunford said two-thirds of non-deployed Marines were not at acceptable readiness levels, which meant they could not be expected to respond adequately to unforeseen crises if needed.
Congress knows that the Navy had seen its share of readiness problems that are increasing and over the past year, a full half of the entire Navy was underway daily or engaged.