Sound Off: Is Our Military Ready to Fight an Overseas War?

Defense Secretary Ash Carter is briefed about a Razor Utility Terrain Vehicle during a visit to Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington on Friday, March 4, 2016. The military services are already beginning to recruit women for combat jobs, including as Navy SEALs, and could see them serving in previously male-only Army and Marine Corps infantry units by this fall, according to new plans endorsed by Carter.  (Peter Haley/The News Tribune via AP)Defense Secretary Ash Carter is briefed about a Razor Utility Terrain Vehicle during a visit to Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington on Friday, March 4, 2016. The military services are already beginning to recruit women for combat jobs, including as Navy SEALs, and could see them serving in previously male-only Army and Marine Corps infantry units by this fall, according to new plans endorsed by Carter. (Peter Haley/The News Tribune via AP)

On Sunday, The Washington Times published a lead story that claims that budget cuts, the troop drawdown and fatigue from a 15 years of war have made the U.S. military dangerously unprepared fighting force, facing “spotty combat readiness, overburdened forces, more fatal accidents and beat-up weapons.”

Here are some of the statistics that reporter Rowan Scarborough cites in the piece:

  • Representative Mac Thornberry says that the Marine Corps’ major, or “Class A,” accident rate has shot up from an average of 2.15 per 100,000 flying hours to 3.96.
  • General Mark Milley, Army chief of staff, says their rotary pilots need a minimum of 14 flying hours a month to stay sharp but are getting only 10 hours.
  • Senator John McCain says that the Navy’s fleet of 272 ships “is too small to address critical security challenges” and “the Marines have a requirement for 38 amphibious ships, but they only have 30 in the fleet.”

McCain criticized President Obama for not asking for more funds, but there’s general agreement that the source of the problem is the 2011 Budget Control Act, which mandated across-the-board cuts and then limited agency spending.

What do you think? Are we ready for combat? Do the reductions in military resources over the last five years make it more difficult for you to do your job? Sound off!