Speed Reads

Hollowed out

Army warns it could become 'hollow' force if budget cuts go through

America's Army fears it may be facing very lean times.

Major General Laura Richardson, chief of Army legislative affairs, wrote in an Oct. 3 memo obtained by The Washington Times that unless the Army gets relief from automatic budget cuts known as sequestration, it "will soon be unable to fully execute Defense Strategic Guidance requirements and we will be on a path to a hollow Army."

General Raymond T. Odierno, the Army chief of staff and former top commander in Iraq, has led the charge to warn congressional leaders, saying that "another sequestration round will come close to breaking the Army," according to the Times.

How much would sequestration hurt?

The active-duty soldier force peaked at 570,000 during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. It is slated to shrink to about 450,000, but sequestration threatens to squeeze it to 420,000. [The Washington Times]

Budget cuts are suspended for the time being, but will go into effect next Oct. 1 if a new spending deal is not agreed upon by then.