The chapters of the Association of the United States Army overwhelmingly approved the AUSA 2010 resolutions recognizing that “a fully-manned, well-resourced Army is an absolute necessity,” and calling for increases in end strength for the active force, Army National Guard and Army Reserve to help restore balance in the force.
“Increasing dwell time is one of the reasons AUSA continues to recommend to Congress authorize and fund the following minimum end strengths: the active Army to 700,000, the Army National Guard to 371,000 and the Army Reserve to 215,000,” the preamble to the resolutions stated.
In the resolutions, AUSA urges Congress to increase defense funding to at least 5 percent of gross domestic product and the Army base budget should be given a greater share of the defense budget – at least 28 percent.
The resolutions also note that the resetting of equipment will last several years beyond the end of military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Noting: “Eight years of combat has stretched our Army, its soldiers, families, and Army civilians. To meet the continuing challenges of an era of persistent conflict, it is imperative to restore balance to the Army, to build resiliency in its people, to modernize the force and to adapt its institutions.”
The preamble thanks Congress for its past support of vital programs for soldiers and their families, and said continued support in these areas is critical to sustain the All-Volunteer Force.
The Army “remains committed to providing [soldiers] with the equipment they need to protect themselves and to maintaining a technological advantage in order to accomplish the mission. Education, training, and leader development cannot be deferred until the conflicts are over.”
At the same time, the resolutions warn against forcing a choice between modernizing the force and personnel programs. “The Army is implementing a modernization strategy that meets the near-term needs of an Army at war and will position the institution for success in the years to come. The funding level for modernization should not place the Army leadership in the position of having to choose between modernization or readiness and taking care of their soldiers.”
Adding, “The coming decades are likely to be ones of persistent conflict—protracted confrontation among state, non-state, and individual actors who use violence to achieve their political and ideological ends. This era of irregular and hybrid campaigns has mandated that the Army continue to have the central, enduring role in providing land forces to implement the National Security Strategy, and will result in a high demand for Army forces and capabilities. “
The resolutions state “the defense of the United States of America is a shared responsibility with the people of our nation. Americans must stay engaged. They must continue to shoulder the responsibilities that come with the freedoms we all enjoy.
“One of these responsibilities is to provide the resources necessary to preserve freedom for ourselves and ensure it for those who follow. Make no mistake – if freedom is to endure, this shared responsibility is a moral imperative. Failure is not an option.”
One-hundred seventeen of AUSA’s 122 chapters participated in the voting that ended at midnight Nov. 2. The resolutions form AUSA’s legislative agenda for the coming year.