Odierno: Time coming to do ‘less with less’ – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Army Times


Presenting a dim outlook for the future of defense spending, Army Gen. Raymond Odierno, head of Joint Forces Command, warned against the folly of “doing more with less” — an approach, he said, which would lead to a hollow force.

Rather, he said, “we may have to do less with less. We may have to brutally accept more risk, where in the past we reduced risk.”

via Odierno: Time coming to do ‘less with less’ – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Army Times.

Pretty soon, the Army (and the rest of the services) are going to have to take a hard look at those missions  that are “nice but not needed” and recommend which ones they would like to drop.

Now, a lot of the missions aren’t up to the services. The Army goes where it is told. But the “can do” attitude in the Army is going to bite the service in the butt very, very soon. Recruiting and retention are still very strong, and morale is still high. How long that will remain the case is an open question.  For certain, those metrics will only remain high so long as the service members think they are performing valuable service, and feel their service is in fact valued.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Odierno: Time coming to do ‘less with less’ – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Army Times

  1. Esli

    It wasn’t too long ago that we also had “less” but were doing a whole lot of “more” at the same time (although the 90’s operational tempo looks pretty tame nowadays). Yet, for some reason, the army leadership had to come up with “relevant and ready” as some sort of rediculous mantra for us. I hope that all the key (ahem, civilian) leadership signs up on the “do less” line. All this ties into the comments I made recently here that key civilian leadership has to update and then adhere to the National Security Strategy that implements the budget cuts that are a-comin’ (got some country twang for Xbrad’s recently-acquired country taste).

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  2. Quartermaster

    They’re certainly going to have to go in for less of the “Meals On Wheels” missions.

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  3. Grumpy

    QM, ‘Meals on Wheels’ missions? Making suggestions? They’re liable to take you up on it.

    Actually, I’m just joking, I HOPE!

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    • Quartermaster

      That was term Rush Limbaugh used for things like Bosnia and such. We’ve involved ourselves in so many things that didn’t concern us that we have squandered a great deal of blood and treasure to no end. A lot of that treasure was bought with borrowed money.

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  4. UltimaRatioRegis

    I nominate two to go away. Big drains of operational resources.

    1.) Armed forces as a ground for advancing socio-political agendas. I don’t give two sh*ts what Mike Mullen thinks my value system should be. In fact, if it were his, I am not sure I could shave in the morning.

    2.) Dump the ridiculous idea that humanitarian assistance/disaster relief is one of the Navy’s six core missions. Despite all of the very forced commentary that we build goodwill, especially in Muslim areas, none of it is true and all of it is political theater. And stop making commercials that look like UNICEF runs our Navy.

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    • As to your first point, I can’t really see that as saving a lot of money/freeing up assets. Having said that, I think you are right, as it is a good way to destroy the force we have. While the military should reflect the values of the population it serves, it also has to be dedicated to a higher purpose, and the divisiveness that the Diversity Industry crowd are bringing is a potential disaster.

      As to the second point, I think HA/DR is a fine mission. When you aren’t busy doing your REAL job, fighting and training to fight. Designing a force to focus on that is another disaster waiting to happen. There’s only so much time and money to train, and no force ever found itself overtrained for its core mission.

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    • Quartermaster

      #2 is a “Meals on Wheels” mission. It’s fine if you can afford it, and it gets you something, but it almost never gets you anything. The part of the Muslim world we’ve helped has judged us as suckers because they take our stuff and go on hating us.

      I don’t mind helping the Japs as they are friends and appreciate it. The Paks and others, not so much and they shouldn’t get a thing.

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  5. UltimaRatioRegis

    Brad,

    I wanna see the costs associated with training and implementation, and the man (heh)-hours spent in that training, and preparation for it. All that crap, like sexual harassment, DADT, sensitivity, etc. Methinks it is a very considerable amount of resources from a finite pie.

    As to the second, yep, HA/DR is a fine mission. Execute using established protocols as necessary. But do NOT make it a core mission with METL training tasks and funding/equipment requirements. Again, from a finite pie. And the combat readiness/maintenance slice shrinks accordingly.

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