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.”
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.