Internal Survey Suggests US Army Not Ready to ‘Fight Tonight’

According to a recent internal US Army survey obtained by Foreign Policy, only one in seven respondents said they’d be ready to deploy and fight immediately, contrary to the age-old Pentagon’s adage that the US Army forces are ready to “fight tonight” if a war breaks out anywhere.

According to the survey, only 14% of 5,400 soldiers and civilians interviewed had said ‘Yes, immediately’ asked in if their unit was ready to deploy, fight and win anywhere in the world, while 13% said they’d need more time: a week (3%) or a month (4%).

Considering the fact that the majority of respondents were civilians, 56 % of those surveyed said the question didn’t apply to them.

Figures are far more striking when broken down by rank with generals far more confident of readiness (40 %) for immediate deployment than warrant officers – highly specialized enlisted troops who have deployed to various US. battlefields during America’s post-9/11 wars – where that number was just under 20%, which shows a noticeable gap between ranks.

Thomas Spoehr, retired Army lieutenant general who heads up the conservative Heritage Foundation’s defense program, believes that the US Army would be in a difficult position if war was to come today since there’s a fair number of the brigade combat teams that are not well trained.

According Heritage Foundation’s assessment of US military power, released last week, only 58% of the army’s brigade combat teams were at the highest tactical readiness level while 8% were below the goal and a full 16% down from 2020.

The results of the survey – part of the 81-page “Army COVID-19 Campaign Plan”- conducted in July and August 2020, a year before the chaotic US pullout from Afghanistan, were obtained by FP the through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

However, the army downplayed the figures, with army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Terence Kelley stating confidence that the service is “ready to fight and win, both today and last summer.”

He also stressed that since the survey was conducted – at the height of the coronavirus pandemic – more than 93% of the active-duty service members have been vaccinated against Covid-19, and combat training centers are now at full capacity.

Army Chief of Staff General James McConville stressed back in February he was willing to sacrifice combat readiness in order to defeat the pandemic.

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