08:31 GMT +317 October 2019
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    U.S. Army soldiers from the 25th Infantry Division’s 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team and South Korean soldiers take their position during a demonstration of the combined arms live-fire exercise.

    US Army Inflates 'Russian Threat' to Win a 'Bigger Slice of Defense Budget'

    © AP Photo / Lee Jin-man
    Politics
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    Some senior US officers have argued that the US armed forces are increasingly ill-prepared to deal with challenges, particularly what they call "resurgent" or "aggressive" Russia, but this grim picture does not seem to reflect the true state of the US forces or the threats they face.

    The Pentagon has been unhappy with steep budget cuts. The agency appears to have adopted a tough stance against Moscow and blown its own troubles out of proportion to secure more funds, hardware and soldiers.

    This has been particularly true of the US Army, defense officials told Politico.

    "This is the 'Chicken-Little, sky-is-falling' set in the Army," an unnamed senior Pentagon officer told the media outlet.

    "These guys want us to believe the Russians are 10 feet tall. There's a simpler explanation: The Army is looking for a purpose, and a bigger chunk of the budget. And the best way to get that is to paint the Russians as being able to land in our rear and on both of our flanks at the same time. What a crock," the source explained.

    In early April, acting US Secretary of the Army Patrick Murphy and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley complained of a readiness problem at a House Armed Services Committee hearing. "The Army risks going to war with insufficient readiness to win decisively," they told lawmakers, blaming reduced funding for the trend.

    The US Army wants to solve its troubles by requesting more funds and growing bigger, but many doubt that it is the right approach, Politico observed, calling it "both backward and dangerously close-minded."

    "A growing chorus of military voices says that … those same senior military officers have not only failed to understand the lessons of Afghanistan and Iraq and embrace service reform, they are inflating foreign threats to win a bigger slice of the defense budget," the media outlet noted.

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    Tags:
    US defense spending, military spending, budget cuts, US Army, United States, Russia
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