The Association of the United States Army applauds Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ decision to add 22,000 more soldiers to the active Army force, but remains committed to growing the active force to 700,000.
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., and AUSA president, “The secretary correctly was acknowledging the risk in not fully and properly manning our deploying units.”
Adding, “Over the past six years, in particular, we have seen the stress on soldiers and their families of repeated deployments.”
“I have recently talked with Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. and chairman of the Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee, about growing and paying for an active force increase of 30,000. The House Armed Services Committee, under the leadership of Rep. Ike Skelton, D-Mo., has included similar language in its version of the defense authorization bill. These are positive steps.”
Sullivan said the key to adding the 22,000 troops approved by the secretary and the growth to 700,000 soldiers is congressional funding of the expansion without endangering vital Army modernization programs such as manned combat vehicles and resetting and recapitalizing equipment used in Afghanistan and Iraq.
“We seem to be able to find billions for worthy things like economic stimulus, education, and manufacturing, surely we can find money to fund both personnel and equipment costs for the very entity that protects all else. This is one of the reasons that AUSA long has advocated for a defense budget that is more than 4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.”