A classified briefing with top military officials left senior US lawmakers convinced that the US military is unprepared to deploy due to budget cuts, with soldiers being placed in danger as their training is reduced.
House Armed Services Committee Chair Howard “Buck” McKeon (R., Calif.) and Readiness Subcommittee Chairman Rob Wittman (R., Va.) were present at the briefing, one in a series in the coming weeks to urge members of Congress to oppose defense cuts, according to the Washington Free Beacon.
After the briefing McKeon said "one of the things that really concerns me, all of these cuts we’re having, the first thing that gets hit is readiness. So the troops that are preparing for Afghanistan, remember we are still at war, are not getting the training they got a year ago."
Wittman highlighted the dangers of the current situation, saying, "reality tells us that our forces will be unprepared to deploy, they will face increased risk, their safety will be jeopardized, their missions compromised, and there will be an increased likelihood that more Americans will be killed carrying out their constitutional duty, both on the battle field and in training, if cuts to our national security are allowed to continue."
The briefing, led by Brigadier General Martin Schweitzer and Dr. Laura Junor, a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Readiness, warned of the dangers to the military's capabilities as billions of dollars are being cut from the defense budget.
America's decline in fighting capabilities comes as many analysts predict that US President Barack Obama's conciliatory stance on Iran's nuclear weapons program may well lead to a war.
The weakening of the US military under the current budget scheme coincides with apparent challenges to American military influence in the Middle East. American ties with Egypt and Saudi Arabia have suffered lately, as Egypt appears to be turning away from the US to develop closer military ties with Russia.
Recently the US began pulling warships out of the Middle East region just a week after Russia sent its strongest nuclear-powered warship into the Mediterranean.