A U.S. Army official said this week that service members could be outnumbered and outgunned in future conflicts.
Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, who serves as deputy commanding general of the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command, made the projection during remarks Tuesday at the Association of the United States Army conference in Huntsville, Alabama, National Defense Magazine reported.
“Future Army forces may be not only outnumbered … but we also may face enemies who have overmatch capability over us in some key areas,” McMaster stated.
“We see obviously in Europe in particular that we may have Army forces that are also to some degree out of position to deter conflict or then to respond to and resolve conflict,” the general continued.
In particular, McMaster said that the Army has not kept up with emerging adversaries’ advanced combat vehicles, adding that other nations have developed better means to protect their vehicles. Officials at the conference emphasized that the Army needs to acquire more “disruptive capabilities” to thwart possible threats, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, electronic warfare, and advanced combat vehicles.
“We don’t want a fair fight,” McMaster said Tuesday. “If we show up with ‘U.S. Army’ on our chests in large numbers, [we want to ensure] you’re going to get your ass kicked.”
The Army has endured significant reductions in force over the past five years amid budget cuts. The service disclosed in a report to Congress last October that it had cut 80,000 soldiers since 2010 and intends to shrink the force by another 40,000 soldiers by the end of next fiscal year. The Army’s force will be reduced to 450,000 active duty troops by the end of fiscal year 2017, the report indicated.