The Army is in a state of "high risk" in its military readiness to defend the nation and respond to a large conflict, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley warns.
In testimony at a hearing of the Senate Armed Service Committee on Thursday, Milley said Russia is still the No. 1 threat to U.S. national security, Military Times reports.
"The fundamental task there is to deter, maintain cohesion of the alliance, assure our allies, and deter further Russian aggression," Milley told the senators. "If we got into a conflict with Russia then I think it would place our soldiers’ lives at significant risk."
"We have a lot of 'not availables' in the force right now,” he added.
Milley insisted "we have sufficient capacity and capability and readiness to fight counterinsurgency and counterterrorism," Military Times reports.
"My military risk refers specifically to what I see as emerging threats and potential for great power conflict and I am specifically talking about the time it takes to execute the task ... and the cost in terms of casualties," he said.
According to Military Times, the Army’s budget – and number of soldiers – has shrunk in recent years; there are a total 980,000 soldiers but Army leaders believe the force should be as big as 1.2 million soldiers to deal with threats around the globe.
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