Holdovers from the Obama administration in the Pentagon are hampering efforts to fix the military’s major readiness problem, leaving Secretary of Defense James Mattis alone in his efforts to properly equip U.S. forces, according to the chairman of the House Committee on Armed Services, The Daily Caller reports.
“I am concerned that … to fix these problems [it] is going to take a lot more money, and yet a lot of the folks who are coming up with the budget to fix them are the same people who have been fighting every step of the way against our efforts to fix these problems,” said Chairman Mac Thornberry during a Capitol Hill press gaggle Thursday.
The Vice Joint Chiefs of Staff warned the armed services committee last week that the lack of military readiness across all branches was putting the military’s capabilities at risk. Their reports revealed, among other substantial problems, only three of 58 Army brigade combat teams are ready for combat, while fewer than half of the Air Force’s aging aircraft fleet is ready to fight.
“I think it is wrong, immoral to ask men and women to go carry out a military mission for which they are not fully equipped, and fully trained, and fully supported,” said Thornberry. “And whether that is a counter-terrorism operation or a freedom of navigation operation in the south China sea, or whatever; if you ask somebody to go out there and risk their lives, you darn well better give them the best and fully support them.”