US army chief voices ‘grave concerns’ over readiness for war
Gen. Mark Milley, the US army chief of staff, said Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee that he is concerned over the army's ability to confront Russia, China, North Korea or Iran due to a lack of resources, readiness and trained forces. He said the army is not at the required level "in terms of time, cost in terms of casualties or cost in terms of military objectives." At the same hearing, Air Force Secretary Deborah James said 50 percent of the combat forces of the air force were not "sufficiently ready" for a confrontation with the Russian air force.
The US air force has a shortage of 500 pilots and the number is expected to rise to 800 by 2022. The military's budget for the 2017 fiscal year stands at $148 billion, with the number of troops in the standing army to be cut to 460,000 from the current 470,000.