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Military Services Report Low Readiness Levels as Russia, China Demand Increased Commitments

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The U.S. military has reported persistently low readiness levels as threats from Russia and China have demanded increased American presence in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, according to a government watchdog.

The Pentagon lacks a comprehensive plan to rebuild readiness across the force as manpower and spending cuts have threatened the armed services’ preparedness for commitments abroad, concluded a Government Accountability Office reportpublicly issued on Wednesday.

The military services expect low levels of readiness to persist into the next decade, according to interviews conducted by auditors.

“The military services have reported persistently low readiness levels, which they have attributed to emerging and continued demands on their forces, reduced force structure, and increased frequency and length of deployments,” the GAO wrote in the report.

Between fiscal years 2013-16, the active component end strength decreased by about 7 percent across the force and the reserve component end strength by 4 percent, according to the GAO.

The Department of Defense has also faced spending cuts across the board due to sequestration, which kicked in more than three years ago. – READ MORE

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