United States Army General Daniel Allyn gave the House Committee on Armed Services alarming testimony during a hearing on Wednesday, stating that if a crisis were to occur tonight, only three out of 58 Army Brigade Combat Teams (BCT) would be available to respond.
According to a report in the Daily Caller, the “BCT usually numbers anywhere between 4,400 to 4,700 soldiers, meaning only approximately 13,500 troops would be ready to fight an enemy in the event of an emergency.”
General Allyn noted that “only about two-thirds of the Army’s initial critical formations — the formations we would need at the outset of a major conflict — are at acceptable levels of readiness to conduct sustained ground combat in a full spectrum environment against a highly lethal hybrid threat or near-peer adversary.”
Countries like Russia and China are considered to be “lethal hybrid threats” or “near-peer adversaries.”
Allyn cautioned that, as it stands now, the U.S. Army would not have enough manpower to effectively respond to an emergency threat.
“Hope is not a method,” said Allyn, adding that an attack taking place now would incur “excessive casualties, especially to civilians.”
In addition to Allyn, the vice chiefs of the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy all echoed his warnings in respect to their own forces.
The cause of this situation, said Allyn, is the Budget Control Act of 2011, an Obama-era law which imposed artificial caps on defense spending. Immediate repeal of the of the law is the solution, he said. Unfortunately, Congress has been unable to remove it and has been forced to pass continuing resolutions to keep the military funded.