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The U.S. Army at the Dawn of the 21st Century: Overcommitted and Underresourced

January 6, 2001

The mismatch between strategy, resources, missions and manning, a result of this nation’s security strategy of engagement, has had the greatest impact on the United States Army. Since 1989 the Army has been cut by more than 34 percent while undergoing a 300 percent increase in mission rates. Indeed, the Army has provided most of the forces used in the 35 major deployments in which it has participated since then. The average frequency of Army contingency deployments has increased from one every four years to one every 14 weeks. During the same period that the Army lost a third of its force structure, it also lost 21 percent of its infrastructure and 37 percent of its budget authority. The Army currently has more than 140,000 soldiers deployed or forward-stationed in 101 foreign countries.