Army chief sets record straight about security in the U.S.

At his last news conference as Army chief of staff, Gen. Ray Odierno spoke candidly at a Pentagon news conference this week about the security of the nation.

"I believe this nation is at an important inflexion point, specifically regarding national security," Odierno said. "Our security environment remains uncertain and dynamic."

Threats the United States faces include Russian aggression in Eastern Europe, China's increased military investment and aggressive posture in East Asia, the Islamic State and Sunni-Shia tensions in the Middle East, global terrorism and an unstable and provocative North Korea, Odierno said.

Decreased resources will result in a decline of readiness and reduced modernization over time that is hard to quickly build back up, Odierno said, adding that the situation will be much worse if sequestration returns in 2016.

Besides readiness and modernization, the active end-strength must not fall below 450,000, Odierno said.

Odierno said that he's not only concerned about where the nation and the Army are at today, but about events that could happen 10 or 20 years down the road. He pointed out that the Army has published doctrine over the last 18 months that address the Army's role and how it will maintain its strategic overmatch while operating in an increasingly dynamic and complex world.

Odierno will be replaced by Gen. Mark A. Milley.
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