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Are We Ready? An Independent Look at the Readiness Posture of U.S. Forces

Testimony Before House Subcommittee on Readiness, Committee on Armed Services

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SOURCE: Center for American Progress

CAP Senior Vice President of National Security and International Policy testifies before the House Subcommittee on Readiness, Committee on Armed Services. Read the testimony (CAP Action).

Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee:

You have asked this panel to review potential issues that will drive U.S. military readiness requirements in the future. While each member of the panel has different professional and political experiences in the national security area, we have had the opportunity to work together to help create “America’s National Security Needs in the 21st Century,” the report of the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel established by Congress.

We worked as a bipartisan group, and I would like to acknowledge Mackenzie Eaglen, who took the lead on military personnel issues, and Professor Thomas Mahnken, who labored hard to produce a bipartisan text for the force structure and personnel panel that I chaired. I should also acknowledge the efforts of Thomas Donnelly to the QDR panel staff. He is well respected and always has an interesting point of view.

We are not here to testify on the QDR review. Our Panel co-chairs William Perry, the former secretary of defense, and Stephen Hadley, the former national security advisor, have appeared before the full committee and accomplished that task. But the QDR work helps frame your question on military readiness.

Secretary of Defense William Gates is correct to focus all the necessary resources of U.S. national security on the mission of supporting our armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our current budget focuses on the war fighter in current combat operations—and that is the necessary focus when at war. But using the QDR experience, my participation on the Defense Policy Board, and other studies in the defense area, I would like to offer four key areas that are likely to impact U.S. military readiness in the future:

  • The Asia-Pacific region
  • New security concerns
  • Energy
  • U.S. economic competitiveness

CAP Senior Vice President of National Security and International Policy testifies before the House Subcommittee on Readiness, Committee on Armed Services. Read the testimony (CAP Action).

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