Washington, DC – Today, House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA) made the following statement about the newly announced U.S. troop levels and on the readiness crisis:

“We already knew that U.S. forces in Afghanistan and Iraq would require a supplemental, because the House budget already created a situation where our troops will run out of money partway through the year. The additional troop requirements do not change that situation, except to compound the impact of this budgeting gimmick on our forces.

“I am also deeply concerned about the way the Republican leadership is perpetuating our armed forces’ readiness crisis. The readiness of our military to fight a peer competitor declined dramatically due to the stresses of war during the Bush administration. It actually began to recover during the Obama administration until Congress created the Budget Control Act, which halted any further progress. Military readiness simply cannot recover unless we lift the budget caps, which Congress refuses to lift. It is a fact that if we don’t summon the will to eliminate sequestration, these problems will only get worse.”