As the Army continues to brace itself for potential cuts to its budget, some officials say the future could see the military return to a time when only small units are prepared for deployment. The shift back to pre-9/11 levels of deployment would be reflection of sequestration, which would dramatically reduce funding for training and other vital exercises, reports Military.com.
Regardless of whether the sequester takes effect on March 1, the Army's size is already trending downward. The branch is expected to reduce its numbers by about 80,000 over the next four years. Those figures could be greater should the Pentagon's budget get slashed. Plus, the sequester could eliminate the funding from 80 percent of the Army's training budget.
"The problem we have is they [combat leaders] have very high expectations, and one of my greatest concerns is severe cutbacks to things like home-station training, or the ability to conduct exercises, or the ability to make being a professional soldier very much linked to real-world problems," Gen. Robert Cone, the commander of Training and Doctrine Command, told the website.
The issue of military readiness is one that has been broached by many top officials concerned about sequestration. Earlier this month, outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta voiced his concerns about what the cuts could do to the Navy, Air Force and civilian jobs, CNN reports.